Scenes from the Mount Washingon Auto Road
In 1853 the New Hampshire State Legislature granted Gen. David O. Macomber of Middletown, Conn., the charter for the Mount Washington Road Company. The grand plan envisioned horse-drawn omnibuses on the Road, a massive hotel and observatory. Not all that came about, but work on the Auto Road began in the summer of 1854. Work progressed until the fall of 1856, when the halfway point was reached. Then money ran out, and the effort was halted. But, a new company, the present Mount Washington Summit Road Company, was formed in 1859. The next year, work resumed, and the first tolls were collected for passage to the Halfway House. The gala opening of the Road to the summit took place on August 8, 1861, with many local dignitaries arriving at the summit in a Concord Coach. The same family still owns the company today.
The trip up the mountain is an 8 mile climb to 4,618 ft from an altitude of 1,527 ft at the bottom to 6,145 ft (1,873 m) at the top, an average gradient of 11.6%. There are several areas along the road to pull off and enjoy the view while letting your motor cool off from the uphill ride, or letting your brakes cool off coming down the mountain.
The picture below shows both Auto Road and the Mt Washington Cog railway. The Cog railway started making trips up Mount Washington on July 3, 1869. The Cog really put a damper on the Auto Road business for a few years till the automotive boom hit America.
Thanks for stopping!