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Guidebooks and Maps





The White Mountain and Winnepissiogee Lake Guide Book, published in 1846, was the first guidebook devoted to the White Mountains. Its pages include poems, natural history, local lore, and descriptions of tourist attractions.





Over fifty guidebooks for the region were published within the sixty years following the first published guidebook. Most began to include images and maps along with descriptions of scenery and directions. At right, is the title page of an 1853 guide published in Portland, Maine, titled Portland, White Mountains, & Montreal Rail Road Guide. On the left is an interior image of the Weirs Steamboat Landing on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, from White & Franconia Mountains, published in 1884. Click to enlarge.


The Northern Traveller, was published by Theodore Dwight in 1826. In the section on the White Mountains, directions for climbing Mount Washington are provided, as are descriptions of the various lodgings and routes in the area. The frontispiece shows "The Notch House," which was inhabited in 1825 by the Willey family. During a torrential rain storm less than a year later, the family ran from the house for safety and was killed by a rock slide. The house was later taken over by others, and renamed "The Willey House."





Charles Jackson wrote Views and Map, Illustrative of the Scenery and Geology of the State of New Hampshire, in 1845. He wrote it in hopes that travelers would carry the book in their packs and later place it on their drawing-room tables. This image is titled "Slide at the Willey House, White Mts." After the rock slide that killed the Willey family, the site became quite popular with tourists who had heard about the incident. Click to enlarge.




These charming illustrated guidebooks fold out to show the major tourist attractions on the Vineyard, including Cottage City at Oak Bluffs, the steamers, Nantucket, churches, the railroad, and the lighthouse at Gay Head. Shown here is A Guide to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, published in 1876, and "Oak Bluffs and Camp Grounds," from Illustrated New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, published in 1879. Click to enlarge.



The Society holds a strong collection of individual maps, specializing mainly in the New England area. It is also important to note that many guidebooks and other published items hold a variety of useful and interesting maps. Shown here are Leavitt's Map with Views of the White Mountains, New Hampshire, published by Frank Leavitt in 1854, and "Map of Nantucket Island," from Illustrated New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. Click to enlarge.


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Mountain Guide Book Weirs
Steamboat Landing White
Mountain and Montreal Guide Slide
at the Willey House Guide
to Martha's Vineyard Oak
Bluffs and Camp Grounds Leavitt's
Map Map
of Nantucket Island