Ruins of Old Mill in Gale River Settlement.
At about the same time as the state was selling off its lands in the North Country, railroads were beginning to provide easy access to distant markets and opening up the interior portions of the White Mountains. By 1875, when the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad through Crawford Notch was completed, the two necessary factors (easy transportation and large land holdings) were in place. Loggers frequently built their own railroads into the woods from the mainline tracks, and these logging railroads annually carried millions of board feet of lumber out of the forests. In the early 1870s large steam powered sawmills were erected in the forest, far from any town. It became necessary to provide homes and other facilities for the large numbers of men needed to run the sawmills and work in the woods. The new towns were “company towns” built, owned, and operated by the businesses to meet their workers needs. Some of these settlements were very rudimentary, like Carrigain and Johnson, while others, like Livermore, provided additional amenities. (The J.E. Henry family, owners of most of Lincoln, built a hospital and charged each employee just 50 cents a month for full medical care.)
Although large scale lumbering was not new to the area, the earlier practice was to transport logs to market via the river systems. Nicholas Norcross logged in the Pemigewasset Valley, using that river. George Van Dyke and others used the Connecticut River and lumbermen from Maine used the Saco and Androscoggin. Until 1875, even after years of river logging, the majority of timber in the interior sections of the White Mountains, where it was not practical to use the waterways, remained untouched. The coming of the railroads in that year did not end the river driving; Van Dyke and others drove logs down the Connecticut River during the early years of the 20th century. However, technology, in the form of the steam engine, was changing the old ways of harvesting and marketing timber in the White Mountains.
The list of vanished lumbering towns is extensive: Livermore, Zealand, Johnson, Beebe River, Carrigain, Jonesville, Jericho, Quint’s, Dundee, Lewisville, Gale River and Hastings, the latter just over the border in Maine. Some were large; some small. Some came and went quickly; some lasted for many years. It’s worth noting that while these were “company” towns, they often had schools, sometimes they had churches and often there were social activities, weddings, birth and deaths just as there might have been in other towns.
 Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press, 6th edition, 2000
 C. Francis Belcher, Logging Railroads of the White Mountains. A,Bernard Perry, Albany’s Recollections,
Historic and archaeological sites are special places that tell the story of our past. Leave artifacts as you find them. Rearranging them limits their scientific value and the experience of future visitors.
Visitors are reminded that Federal law prohibits disturbing these
sites or removing any artifacts.
Suggested Reading There are not any books that focus on abandoned towns, as such. However, "Logging Railroads of the White Mountains" by C. Francis Belcher has useful information on the abandoned logging towns.