Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1907 postcard of Crawford House in the White Mountains

This scenic postcard was copyrighted in 1907 by the Detroit Publishing Company — it's a Phostint card — and the caption on the front states: "Gate of notch toward Crawford House, White Mountains, N.H."

An excellent history of the now-vanished Crawford House can be found at Construction began on the first Crawford House in 1850. It suffered major fire damage in 1859 and was rebuilt. In 1875, the hotel entered its heyday when the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad reached Crawford Notch.

The Crawford House closed in 1975 and burned down in 1977, in what is believed to have been an act of arson. The history of the Crawford House includes links to photos and an account of the fire. It also suggests The Grand Resort Hotels of the White Mountains: A Vanishing Architectural Legacy by Bryant F. Tolles and And Then There Was One: A History of the Hotels of the Summit and the West Side of Mt. Washington by George E. McAvoy for further reading.

The postcard was mailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the short message: "On our trip Aug 11th 1907."1 It is postmarked on that same date at Fabyan House in New Hampshire.

Regarding Fabyan House, we can once again turn to for solid information. Fabyan House was another resort hotel that benefited from the railroad coming through Crawford Notch. It opened in 1873 and touted all the wonders of the White Mountains, where guests could leave hay fever and asthma behind and enjoy the "seasonal luxuries" of fresh farm food.

The 250-room Fabyan House featured gas lighting, a billiards room, private baths, fine wines, and a house orchestra. With the advent of the automobile, however, its business decreased. Instead of staying for an entire summer season, guests stayed for a few days and then drove somewhere else. Fabyan House was destroyed by a fire in 1951.

1. On August 11, 1907, the Philadelphia Phillies were in Chicago and were swept in a doubleheader against the Cubs. Chicago won both games by a score of 1-0. A nice little day of futility. (This was before Wrigley Field, by the way. The Cubs were playing their home games at West Side Park.)

No comments:

Post a Comment