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Crawford Notch 1839 to 2017 Makes 178 Years an Artist Subject of History and Place

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Crawford Notch 1839 to 2017 Makes 178 Years an Artist Subject of History and Place

I was so happy to recently rediscover this painting on the left by Thomas Cole. Through research have found that numerous painters both well known and not have painted this viewpoint of Crawford Notch spanning the last 178 years. I was unaware of this when I painted mine.

Crawford Notch, a deep valley in New Hampshire's White Mountains is off Rte 302 which passes through the northern part of the White Mountain National Forest region. Discovered by the English earlier, it gained notoriety in 1826 when nine lives including the Willey family were lost in a catastrophic avalanche there. The Crawford Notch depot train station was constructed in 1891 and the Crawford Notch Hotel, (built in 1850 burned down in 1972) is now the site of the Highland Center Headquarters for the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Painted in 1848 Thomas Cole's oil painting depicts the site of an earlier landslide which prompted Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Willey and their five children, along with two farmhands to immediately leave their home in Crawford Notch and construct what they thought would be a safe haven close by. Instead, they ran into the very path of disaster. The avalanche struck their refuge the very next night. All were killed.

My painting done in 2012 was started en plein air on location. I was standing on the AMC grounds in front of the Highland Center Headquarters in late October. I witnessed the very last train of the season come into this depot from it’s mountainous journey through the east side of the White Mountains. I had to leave this site early due to weather. It was windy and very cold after 3 hours when the sun was setting. I completed in the warm confines of my studio room in Campton, New Hampshire.

The original is available and print reproductions are available at this link.