Commemorating 150 Years of the Cog Railway

Mr. S. Marsh visited the White Mts in Aug. 1857. Ascended Mt on foot—was overtaken by storm and night, and lost way, finally stumbled on to the Tip Top House nearly exhausted. He at once saw the necessity of an easier and safer way to ascend the Mt and being impressed with the fact that travel to the top of Mt. Washington was just in its infancy, He set himself to the work of devising some easier and safer method of ascension.


The years 1857 to 1866 form the bulk of the years Marsh controlled the destiny of his railway. Before the Cog reached halfway up the mountain, the Cog’s financiers pushed Marsh out of any meaningful responsibility with the company, leaving the Railway’s inventor, founder, and creator as nothing but a corporate figurehead.

To pay homage to Marsh’s inventiveness and tenacity, as well as the Cog’s 150th anniversary of carrying paying passengers to the summit, Rob will speak on several topics from his upcoming Historical New Hampshire article on the creation story of the Cog, “‘Crazy Man’ Sylvester Marsh and the Origins of the Mount Washington Railway.” For instance: Did you know the first written reference to a railroad on Mount Washington was made in 1853? Any idea who proposed it? Why did Marsh climb the mountain in 1857? What would have given Marsh and his financiers the idea that they could make money from the railway? Why did Marsh choose the financiers he did? What other Mount Washington attractions did Marsh have a hand in bringing to life? These questions and many others will be answered during Rob’s presentation.


Rob Bermudes holds a BS in engineering and an MA in U.S. history. An engineering manager for a Fortune 500 company by day and researcher of New Hampshire history topics by night, he has published articles on early New Hampshire photographer Samuel A. Bemis, and the second newspaper published on Mount Washington, the Mount Washington Daily News. The past editor of Historical New Hampshire, Rob has been researching the history of Mount Washington and the White Mountains for decades.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
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