There’s just something about the rural November landscape that whispers. It conveys a feeling of antiquity, a kind of sepia-toned memory as if the land itself remembers and projects a younger self-portrait; a time well before we called them “selfies.”
Late last year biologists at the University of New Hampshire announced the results of a study, commissioned by Fish and Game. They estimated that from 1989 to today, the bobcat population in New Hampshire had rebounded from less than 200 cats to somewhere between 800 and 1,400.
The Washburn land has a multi-generational history as a working forest. The Washburn siblings’ father Reuben Washburn and his business partner George Hann first began purchasing timberland in the 1940s and early 1950s for what became the Washburn Lumber Company.
The Kauffmann Forest surrounds the land at Christine Lake owned by the Percy Summer Club. The club's land is protected by a conservation easement held by the Forest Society. Combined with the state-owned Nash Stream Forest, these conservation lands comprise the entire watershed of beautiful Christine Lake.
The most unique feature of the property is an old gold mine, operated by the Whitefield Mining Company until 1885. The mine has one shaft 100 feet deep, with its entrance carved into the face of a cliff.
Cellar holes surrounded by apple orchards suggest that a portion of this land was used for agriculture and a residence at one time. At the foot of Black Mountain are the remains of old-time limestone quarries and kilns. The first kiln here was built in 1838; the second was built in 1842 with the help of John Page, governor of New Hampshire and a Haverhill resident. The Haverhill Lime Company was active in this area from 1864-1876. This area was logged with a new steam sawmill in 1890 and again from 1907-19.