Friday, May 29, 2015

Answer delayed... "Why so... young?"

I've been really busy this week 

(and I'm afraid next week will be similar--but more on that next week).  

So I'm going to answer this week's Challenge over the weekend when I'll have a bit more time.  Hurrah!  You have a couple of extra days to work on this!  

A couple of comments first... 

As several Regular Readers have pointed out, there is good evidence that once upon a time there was a heavy forest of rather large trees in the area of Dartmouth College.  Ramón (and others) pointed out that there were many pines, some of which were gigantic--a 240 foot pine tree is one BIG tree.  (Think of it as being 24 stories tall!)  

I suspect that before Dartmouth was formed, that area was a primeval forest.  Barring devastating forest fires, it would have been a "mature" forest.  

So I've been looking at historical accounts of the early days of Dartmouth, looking for written records of how the lands around Dartmouth appeared in the 18th century, and then checking for updates since then.  (I've had some luck here.)  

I'm also looking for old maps and photo archives.   
For instance, compare these two images side-by-side.  One is from 1887, while the other is from 2013 (and is as close to the location of that earlier sketch as I could guess:  East Wheelock Street in Hanover, NH, not far from Darthmouth College).   

Remember that we're not looking JUST at elms (although the elm story is quite interesting), but at the entire range of forest trees.  

Looks like the place was pretty much deforested not that long ago.  

Does this suggestion help your search?  

Searching on! 


  1. [dartmouth forest through time] and [search through time tool]

    I remember that Dr. Russell, told us about how search through time

    Encountering Forests Course names some books and readings that maybe can help us. Also finally learned that many classes use this: "Our classes will be “liberated” (i.e., freed) of laptops, cell phones and any similar e-devices. "

  2. …with the search area expanded (50-60 miles), checked out the White Mountain National Forest area & found a few items of interest:
    regarding the state of the Hanover/Dartmouth area over time…
    Rev.Wheelock, Dartmouth & Hanover
    White Mountain NF history
    as often happens with these searches one thing leads to multiple others… this is related to big data use, news and find info quickly - uses Google maps…
    seems like it would be useful…
    points mentioned portal example - map
    newsbayou example using recent
    video example of how it works with newspapers

    which led to this current situation in the WMNF…
    The Power of Place
    fb, by Jerry Monkman
    a good example and sense of place:
    see Trees Not Towers. Four Lands. Forever. For New Hampshire

    and this side bit for DrD:
    fresh water diving in the neighborhood…

    exploring with images
    Appalachian Mountain Club - helping preserve

    non photo images:
    Franconia Notch, 1883(painting)/2004(photo) comparison
    Homer, 1863 relatively tree free

    beware Chocorua
    more detail
    another version
    Cole image, engraved by George W. Hatch
    painting lost

  3. Query [historical forestation of hanover, new hampshire 1700..1900]

    Result [Spring 2012 From Forest to Freshet: The Development of the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire, 1750-1820 Madeleine Beihl University of New Hampshire - Main Campus]
    " In the mid-eighteenth century, White Pine was in higher demand than ever before. Its long, lean form, smooth trunk, and durable wood was ideal for making planks with which to build houses; and White Pine trees which had been unaffected by human contact grew to a height of 150 or 200 feet, perfect for ship masts.” … “ This flotilla of shipbuilding material was shipped from the approximate location of present-day Hanover, New Hampshire”.

    This paper gives us some important clues about the trees uses such as its height for shipbuilding and its durability for housebuilding.

    Query ["lumber mills" hanover, new hampshire 1700..1900 "white pine"]

    Result's_Journey.html [A River’s Journey]

    “At the time of first settlement by white people, many towns on the Androscoggin boasted sizeable stands of white pine that thrived in the thin soils along the river’s banks. Eleazer Twitchell, a prominent Bethel resident, capitalized on this by acquiring large parcels of intervale land and cutting these old-growth trees, which he floated downriver to sawmills in Brunswick. To assist in his calculation of the timber’s lumber potential, he created and had printed this “Table for measuring Logs” in the 1790s.”

    We have photos of mills back in the 1800’s along with lots of logging photos and the big flood of Hanover in 1896. There is no question this area was ideal for lumber operations. Lots of interesting old photos.

    1. was looking through the Androscoggin/Bethel historical info and think the Hanover referred to is Hanover, Maine (near Rumford)… almost 100 miles to the northeast of Hanover, NH. All scenic and historic for logging - and papermaking in Maine specifically. multi-Hanovers

    2. Good catch Remjiji :) Moving on ...
      Query [hanover new hampshire river logging operations 1700..1900] “Connecticut River”
      Result Land Use Effects on Streamflow and Water Quality in the Northeastern United ... By Avril L. de la Cretaz, Paul K. Barten
      Pages 131 to 133

      Have look at the three maps on page 133 for 1620, 1850, and 1920. Uncut forest areas were dramatically reduced by demand. Agriculture expansion took over.

    3. rrR - no doubt about the deforestation and degradation of the river systems during that time period, fortunately a portion of that has been reversed in New England -
      for a variety of reasons… the 70 year period, 1850 - 1920 is striking… construction & paper, agriculture moving to the mid-west?
      fwiw, looked at the Trescott land area again using Bing Maps — looks like that area could use some enhanced management - a fair amount of dead wood.
      google/different look
      seems the White Mountain NF is the only one in NH/ME (national grasslands are important too)
      WMNF r****j :^)

  4. Recent Deforestation

    After further thought my bet is on the Geat Hurricane of 1938 which downed millions of trees in New England. Has photos of some of the damage and a map of the hurricane's route. A good account.

    THe sizes of the current trees appear to be appropriate for young trees born about the same time as me. But I am shorter and rounder.


  5. Pines in the Trescott Rd. area appear to be ~ 110 years old… 5 random pines cut down, average ring count… kidding, just kidding…
    but it would look something like this:

    using [historical forestry map hanover, new hampshire] and looking at images,
    I saw this Trescott Company lands
    which ties directly to one of the images Dan used in the Wed. challenge: Trescott Rd ("Near Dartmouth: Note tree sizes")
    the last two paragraphs are fairly specific with the date 1905 being when the pines in that area were planted…
    "In the 19th century, the neighborhood included some 10 farms and the District 4 schoolhouse, at the intersection of Wolfeboro and Knapp Roads. One of the farms became the town’s Poor Farm, where the community’s indigent population lived and worked. The farm included a sawmill and a busy ice-cutting operation, among other activities. Our edited version of the 1892 map shows the boundaries and reservoirs of today superimposed on the settlement of yesterday.
    The Hanover Water Works Company was established in this year, and the Fletcher Reservoir built in 1893 (later enlarged in 1954). Tree planting began in 1905 as pines were thickly set on the open fields of the former farms, but there was little forest management activity until the 1970s. By 1912 the company had acquired most of the Camp Brook watershed and removed the schoolhouse, poor farm, sawmill, ice house, and many other buildings. The Parker Reservoir was built in 1924."

    included was this image and map:
    captioned Hanover Poor Farm/House
    1892 map - marking the "Town Farm"
    current Google map with with the Hanover & Parker Reservoirs - shows dense wooded area around Trescott Rd
    similar sizes
    in the timeline view
    proximity to Dartmouth

    — was not familiar with this:
    poor houses, alms house, poor farms, county home…
    also applied to the infirm & mentally ill