Larcom Mountain, New Hampshire

By Wednesday, June 11, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

This place is on my bucket list, which I am sure will be an easy one to check-off as I am already dreaming up a nice drive North to see these majestic mountains. The way Lucy Larcom describes them makes me feel at home (especially because my own branch of the Larcom family also spends time in the mountains of Northwest North Carolina as much as possible). Lucy fell in love with the mountains when she lived in Lowell as she listened to the lives of the New Hampshire farm girls. 1

After finally making her way there, these mountains became her much needed place for “rest and strength, and aspiration and exhalation.” “They are nearly a day’s journey from here – the White Mountains – but I will go, and get a glimpse and breath of their glory, once a year, always.” 2

“When summer came, Miss Larcom always looked forward with pleasure to her mountain homes, of which she had a number, in New Hampshire and Maine. The hills gave her rest; and the beauty of the views, with the grand distances, suggesting freedom and the thought of being above the common level, gave her inspiration for her work. Each year she tried to visit the various points she loved – Ossipee Park, The Notch, Bethlehem, Moosilauke, Bethel, Centre Harbor, and Berlin Falls. Bethel fascinated her with its sight of the Androscoggin and its majestic elms, and the view at Mt. Moriah and some of the Presidential Range, – Madison, Adams, Washington. At Mr. John’s Riverside Cottage she was always welcome; and back of the house, on the crest of the mountain, was a little glen, shaded by evergreens, in which she used to sit and read, called ‘Miss Larcom’s Retreat.’ 3

She always enjoyed Ossipee Park, with its wonderful brook, ‘set in the freshness of perfect green,’ and watched it widen into pools and leap into cascades. She wrote of it, ‘Ah! This is the sort of retreat for friends who like to meet or separate within the sound of a voice which surely wins them together again side by side.’

She writes,

“There is a particular charm in the New Hampshire hill scenery just at this season, before the roses have faded, or the hay is mown, or the bobolinks have ceased singing among the clover blossoms, and while the midsummer-tide is rolling up over all, and blending all in haze and heat, – a mingling of freshness and ripeness that is indescribably lovely.” 4

“It brings us the spice of pine woods and the clear drip of ice-cold waterfalls; the breath of pond lilies and sweet-briar and unmown scented grasses, clover-tops and mountain-tops, blended in one draught; and that delicate bubble of song which rises from the meadows, the faint farewell chorus of summer birds that seem loth to go, makes the cup overflow with musical foam.” 5

 

A Mountain Named After Lucy Larcom

 

Larcom Mountain & Little Larcom MountainAn excerpt from When Women and Mountains Meet: Adventures in the White Mountains, by Julie Boardman:

“In the Ossipee Mountains, a range located immediately north of Lake Winnipesaukee, there is a gentle 2,093 foot high hill known as Larcom Mountain. One of the few White Mountain peaks named for a woman, it honors Lucy Larcom, a nineteenth century poet and author. Larcom Mountain is adjacent to Mount Whittier, which is named for ‘the poet of White Hills’ – John Greenleaf Whittier. It is no accident that Larcom Mountain and Mount Whittier are close together. The two poets knew one another well, and for many years, they vacationed together at the same White Mountain Inn, the Bear Camp River House in West Ossipee.”

“In addition to her poetry, Lucy Larcom enriched the region by bestowing names on two mountains in the Sandwich Range. She suggested that one be called Mount Wonalancet, in honor of the son and successor of the great Pennacook chieftain Passaconaway, and that the other be called Mount Paugus, in honor of the Pennacook chieftain who died at the battle at Lovewell’s Pond in Fryeburg, Maine, in 1725.

In her later years, Lucy Larcom liked to stay at the Summit House on Mount Washington. This was not the same Summit House as the one built in 1852. After the Carriage Road and Cog Railway were completed, spending a night on the summit became so fashionable that a new Summit House was needed. Opened in 1873, it accommodated one hundred and fifty guests, making it the largest hotel in America on a mountaintop. While vacationing at the Summit House, Lucy Larcom wrote this poem:

 

Asleep on the Summit
Upon the mountain’s stormy breast
I laid me down and sank to rest;
I felt the wild thrill of the blast,
Defied and welcomed as it passed,
And made my lullaby the psalm
Of strife that wins immortal calm.

Cradled and rocked by wind and cloud,
Safe pillowed on the summit proud,
Steadied by that encircling arm,
Which holds the universe from harm
I knew the Lord my soul would keep,
Among His mountain-tops asleep.

 

Lucy Larcom died of a heart ailment in 1893. Less than a month after her death, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) proposed that her name be given to a peak in the Ossipee Range. A mountain in the range had already been named for Whittier, but some confusion existed about exactly which one it was. The AMC straightened everything out, giving the name Larcom Mountain to a peak at the northwestern corner of the range and the name Mount Whittier to the peak next to it.” 6

Located in Carroll County, Tamworth, Hew Hampshire, the top of the mountain and its subpeak, Little Larcom Mountain are part of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust in the Appalachian Mountains. 7

mapElevation: 2,093 ft
Prominence: 453 ft
Coordinates: 43° 48′ 19” N; 71° 19′ 15” W
43.805404, -71.320771 (Dec Deg)
313325E 4852878N Zone 19 (UTM)

 

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