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Author Topic: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully  (Read 992 times)

DLottmann

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Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« on: February 14, 2012, 07:43:51 PM »

I’ve been wondering for the last two seasons what the story is behind the cross at the bottom of Hitchcock Gully, with “Richard Graves” on it. I checked with Rick Wilcox at IME and he didn’t know what happened. Last death he could recall on Willard was 15 or more years ago when some teenagers tried scrambling up the rock slabs near Cinema.

So does anyone know the deal? It just appeared one day, 2, maybe 3 years ago?
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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 09:57:33 PM »

this is for the train. Richard Graves died 100+ years ago.
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Al Hospers
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DLottmann

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 10:01:37 PM »

Really? Any details? And you’d think they’d put the cross outside of the landslide/runout that is the base of Hitchcock. In a regular snow year it gets buried/destroyed.
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gwilson

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 08:48:05 AM »

Richard Graves worked at the Crawford house sometime, if I recall correctly, in the 30's or 40's.  He apparently left one evening with the stated intention of climbing the Standard Route.  Upon not returning, a search found his body somewhere up above what we now call lower Hitchcock, which was where they brought is body down (and not anywhere near the Standard Route).  Apparently there used to be a cross at the spot decades ago, and when it reappeared I figured it must be so the Conway Scenic can tell the story. 
I got this story from an old (1950's I think) article in Appalachia called 'Ramblings on Mt Willard', which is worth checking out.  Not a lot on the climbing, which was just the Standard Route at the time, but interesting.  I also learned that what we are calling Hitchcock gully was formerly known as Butterwort Flume on account of the population of Butterwort that grows in the alcove before the rock exit to lower Hitchcock.  Butterwort loves calcium and is therefore rare in the White Mountains, only growing there and in the Black Dike.  What we call the Cleft was originally called Hitchcock Flume.  Somewhere in there the name moved.
Anyway, hi everybody.  I've lurked on an off but this post drew me out.  I like Mt Willard....
-Geoff Wilson
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old_school

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 09:55:11 AM »

Cool! Thanks Geoff! I had often wondered the same, and my clients always ask me and I felt a little silly when I didn't know the answer  ???. I assumed someone had died working on the railroad. Good information and where would one find that article, I am interested in learning more about that area.

Grammy
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"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes."

DLottmann

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 10:00:26 AM »

Awesome Geoff, thanks for sharing. I’m pretty sure the east side of Mt. Willard is my favorite place in the Whites. From high quality friction rock climbing to easy ice slabs, to geologically amazing deep cut gullies, incredible view of the U-shaped valley, there is a lot of variety in a fairly condensed area. An super easy descent trail off the top is just the icing on the cake.

Grammy, I’d check the library in Joe Dodge Lodge. They have a great back-log of the older issues of Appalachia. The MWOBS library might have it too... but you’d have to search through a few issues to find it I imagine. I’ll have a look next time I have a few extra minutes at Pinkham.
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old_school

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 10:08:54 AM »

I will check those out Dave! My check White Birch Books to see what they have in stock in terms of historical works in that particular area. I have purchased some great and informative reads in that little book store! Great local lore and history!  :)

~g
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"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes."

DGoguen

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 10:28:02 AM »

A cool little book is " Life by the Tracks" by Virginia Downs 1983. Still available, paperback around $10
It chronicles the Evans family that lived in the house right on the tracks at the Willey brook trestle. Great photos.
The foundation is still there along with a little memorial that reads "Hatties Garden" 
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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 12:56:19 PM »

people rarely walk down the tracks across the larger trestle and that's where the house foundation still is. it's worth the walk some time. it's very cool.

there's a lot of history in them there hills...
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Al Hospers
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gwilson

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 03:14:04 PM »

I just dug up the reference I was thinking of, but it turns out that there are two.  The 'Mount Willard Ramblings' article was by Henry Childs in Appalachia Dec 1945.  He does descrtibe the accident, but the name and more details are in a 1929 Appalachia in the 'various notes' section written by Robert Underhill.  The accident was in 1929 - very shortly after the Standard Route was first put up. 

Incidentally, that 1929 Appalachia describes the FA of the Standard Route on Willard, the FA of the Eaglet, the FA of the Whitney-Gilman, attempts on Whitehorse before the FA, and a bunch of stuff on Katahdin.  There's a Ken Henderson article describing early or first ascents of a lot of the classics that is very impressive.  Those were the days!
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mechanicalchris

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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 08:47:11 PM »

Laura and I just walked from AMC to Willey slide. When we got home we asked Grammy the same thing.

Lots of history!

By the way, the climbs were dismal on the way in. While we were on the slide the weather totally changed and the wind really picked-up. By the time we made it back past Elephant Head it was already looking better than it had been just a couple hours earlier!
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 09:39:53 PM by mechanicalchris »
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Re: Richard Graves- Hitchcock Gully
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 10:05:05 PM »

all the afternoon temps dropped several degrees every hour, going from 40+ to mid 20's.
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Al Hospers
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