Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Washington Boulder in Jackson, NH

Earlier this month, we visited Jackson, NH for a little rest and relaxation. At some point over the weekend, I activated my Facebook news feed on my phone and to my surprise I saw a posting of a rock formation profile I had never seen before. It was called the Washington Boulder and was of the resemblance of George Washington overlooking Mount Washington in the background. The Facebook post that caught my eye is below.

The image was posted by New Hampshire-then and now, which is a phenomenal Facebook site that posts great, older images of New Hampshire's heritage...many of the White Mountains. The caption for this photo is quoted below:

"This is the George Washington Profile Boulder in Jackson,N.H. In the background is Mt. Washington. The Washington Boulder is located on Tin Mine Road, shortly after Middle Mountain Trail, on the left. It is located close to the road, and is easily seen when driving by, as the boulder is on ground level (not on a ledge like the Old Man profile was). Photo taken by Dick Smith about 1964. www.facebook.com/NewHampshireThenAndNow"

So obviously I set out to find it and make sure it was still there! The directions in the post served me well. The drive up Tin Mine Road was nice. It had a decent uphill grade with lots of great houses and views. Shortly after Middle Mountain Trail (which is really a road) enters on the left, there's a sign on a tree that reads "Washington Boulder". Behind the sign, is a giant boulder on the side of the road between two property lots.

In order to see the profile, you have to stand in the end of someone's gravel driveway and look north. Unfortunately, unlike Dick Smith's photo from 1964, the trees in the background have grown up a bit and Mount Washington would have been obstructed by tree branches if it wasn't already cloudy. My attempts at trying to capture George Washington's profile are below.

From the iPhone (came out a bit dark)

From the point-and-shoot

Below is a comparison of Dick Smith's older photo with my more recent one. The obvious observation is that the photographic skill set of Dick Smith is much, much...much higher than mine. But once you get over that, my goal is to illustrate how much the trees have grown in and show how restricted the view to Mount Washington has become.

 Profile from 1964 vs. Profile from 2016...big difference in the viewpoint!

Lastly, I wanted to share a couple images of old postcards I found online. The first is from 1958 and was published by Bromley and Company. I captured the image from cardcow.com

The next one seems much older, but I couldn't find much information with regards to the date or publishing company. The image was captured from http://www.ohcroo.com/postcard_131052.cfm

It amazes me how many rock formation face profiles exist in New Hampshire. The Old Man of the Mountains is by far the most popular one, however there are several others in New Hampshire that just don't get the recognition that others do. Based on the postcard images I found and the great viewpoints displayed in earlier photos, Washington Boulder was probably a more well known attraction than what it is today. After all, I've stayed in Jackson more times than I can recall over the past 10 years and I had never heard of this rock formation. I'm hoping this post may bring some interest back to good old George Washington's profile sitting up in Jackson, NH!


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