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A Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art.
VOL. X.--JULY, 1857.-NO. LV.
THE HE casual visitor, who whirls to and over the White Hills of New Hampshire, is amazed and gratified with the solid grandeur and the varied beauty of the scenes through which he may be borne, even with the hot haste of modVOL. X.-]
"Go thither," says the statesman, prepared to stay, to study, to feel them. These old settlers are tardy in forming intimate acquaintanceships. Their externals they give to the eye in a moment, upon a clear day; but their true character-their occasional moods of superior majesty-all that makes them a real refreshment, a force, a joy for the rest of your years-they show only to the calmer eye-only to him who waits sufficiently long to unthink his city habits, and bide their time.
population more sparse, as you proceed towards Island Pond-the town of Gorham, N. H., being the point, on the way thither, at which pleasure-seekers "do mostly congregate" in the summer season, and whence the pilgrim on his journey to Mounts Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Moriah, commences his toilsome but romantic and exhilarating march upward.
The present town of Gorham, which, until within a few years, formed a part of Shelburne, lies to the north of the base of the principal eminences known generally as the "White Mountains," and is but a rude village at this time, though it was incorporated some twenty years since. The establishment of the railroad (running through this town directly to Montreal) has had the effect of building it up, somewhat; though its chief features, now, are the Alpine House, a fine hotel belonging to the railway company, a dépôt near by, and the few cottage dwellings around, occupied principally by persons connected with the road, in that neighborhood. Within a
few years, great numbers of travelers select this route to the mountains; and, in the vicinity of Gorham-that is to say, within easy carriage-drives, over very excellent roads are located some of the loveliest spots in that lovely country surrounding the granite monarchs of northern New England.
Mount Moriah lies upon the edge of Shelburne-the town adjoining Gorham-and, from which, the latter-named place is but a "set-off." Near the centre of Shelburne, and within pleasant driving distance of the "Alpine," may be seen a curious precipice, or ledge of rock, rising from its base to a height of some seventy feet-in an angle of fifty degrees-called "Moses' Ledge." It is told that this cliff received its name from the fact that, during an early survey of the town, the authorities offered to bestow the best lot of land in the precinct to the man who could readily climb to the top of this rock. A person by the name of Moses Ingalls removed his boots, and scrambled up to the crown of the ledge, amid the cheers of the surveying party-and hence its cog
A drive over a very fair road to the northwest, from the "Alpine," distant some seven miles, brings you to another locality of much interest-Berlin Falls.
This charming spot is now resorted to by hosts of travelers, who cannot fail to admire the wild and magnificent scenery which surrounds this madlydriven torrent, as it rushes, with tremendous force, through the gulch that forms its craggy, bouldered bed. It is called Berlin Falls-but the writer considers this a misnomer.
The sketch here presented is an accurate view, taken in the month of July, at a point below the bridge which has been thrown across the torrent. From a distance above the bridge, the river comes tumbling down, over a rugged bed of huge rocks, the descent, for several rods, being sharp and rapid; but not presenting what is generally understood by the abrupt term of a "fall" of water. Rapids, or torrent, would decidedly be more appropriate to this locality, although the fall of the watersfor a distance of some hundred rods in
the immediate vicinity of the bridge-is very considerable, yet comparatively gradual. And still, but few spots in the whole tour of the White Mountain region strikes the beholder with deeper awe than this wonderful leaping of flood over its cragged bed of boulders, clefts, and time-worn rocks.
Returning by the carriage road from Berlin Falls, or Berlin cataract (as the reader pleases), we passed, or halted to examine, many beautiful streams that gushed from the mountain ridges, along the right or left, and saw three or four miniature cascades that the ladies greatly admired. As we turned an angle in the road, we came in view of the river again, a mile or more below the bridge. The current set rapidly around this point, and one of the young ladies suddenly descried a paddle whirling in the eddy, near the shore. This little incident suggested inquiry among our fair companions, and our guide-an old mountaineer-related the following, in reply to the question, where this isolated oar could have come from: