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9/13/19 History of Agiocochook (Mt Washington) - Lecture/Slideshow by Ed Webster

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

On Friday, September 13, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., the Arts Center at 8 Hancock Avenue, Hiram will be presenting a lecture/slideshow, “History of Agiocochook (Mt. Washington),” by Ed Webster.

Mt. Washington, the tallest of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, is one of the most well-loved and storied summits on earth. Known as Agiocochook, “Place of the Storm Spirit,” or “Home of the Great Spirit” by the native Abenaki, Mt. Washington sees three major weather systems frequently collide on its summit, producing some of the planet’s highest wind speeds. An astounding 231 mph was recorded in 1934 before the meter blew away! Add in severe storms, plus over 140 deaths, and one realizes why New England’s highest peak, Mt. Washington, has its reputation for having some of the world’s worst weather.

An astounding 231 mph was recorded in 1934 before the meter blew away!

Author of the White Mountain rock climbing guidebooks, Ed Webster has assembled his newest lecture chronicling the mountain recreation development of this much-adored, easily accessibly mountain. After English colonist Darby Field with two Abenaki guides made the mountain’s first ascent in 1642, Reverend Manasseh Cutler, after summiting in 1784, christened it with its Presidential name in the 1790s. New England’s tallest summit also boasts the earliest hiking trail in America, built by Abel Crawford and his son Ethan Allen in 1819. Eventually driven up by horse-drawn carriages, then automobiles, and ascended by the steam-powered Cog Railway, the very first of its kind, invented and built by Sylvester Marsh, few people today know Mt. Washington’s original Native American name. Or, for that matter, that a newspaper, Among the Clouds, was printed daily on the summit from 1877 to 1908!

Ed Webster has documented every way Mt. Washington has been used for both commerce and sports by digitizing his unique collection of early artwork including Stereophotographs (extremely popular in the late 1800s) and pictures taken by 1920s and ‘30s rock and ice climbers in Huntington Ravine—plus by pioneering Tuckerman Ravine skier Brooks Dodge. Other subject matter covered includes the 1828 Willey Family landslide and disaster, the growth of North Conway, the Grand Hotels, the Railroads, and White Mountain tourism in general. The little-known anecdotes and stories Webster has discovered, some bizarre, some tragic, and others quite amusing, fully compliment the show. Come and experience an enjoyable educational lecture about every New Englanders’ favorite mountain!

To contact:,, or (207) 833-5782.

There is a suggested donation of $10 per adult and $5 per child.


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