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In the Shadow of Mount Washington | A Photographic Journey

In the Shadow of Mount Washington | A Photographic Journey
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The artists came to Mount Washington and its valley first, in the middle of the 19th century, and their keen eye for beauty and detail brought others from the cities with the money and desire to feel what the artists did. Mount Washington, at its 6,288-foot elevation the highest mountain in the Northeast, rises over a valley brimming with waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and thousands of acres of forest. When the early travelers breathed the summer air, they told others about this place, and soon the grandest hotels in the country spread across the valley like great ocean liners perched before the mountain. So much has evolved over the decades in the Mount Washington Valley. Hikers and climbers who thrive on endurance and strength and courage today wait in traffic beside a new kind of explorer: the outlet-mall bargain shopper, whose endeavor demands its own special endurance. But these things haven’t changed: a physical beauty unmatched in the East; a year-round populace stirred by the bracing winds that sweep off the mountains; people who bring a fierce love of their home and the outdoors.

It’s no simple task to capture in photos a place with so many faces. Early last summer, photographer Richard Schultz and his assistant, Shef Reynolds, spent a week shouldering their cameras, following the advice they heard from locals: where to see sunrise; where to find the best local color in a valley where everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell.

“The fun for me is the people I meet,” Schultz says. “It’s the exploration of a new area and the experiences I have. The people were so welcoming to being photographed. I consider this a gift. That they allow this access, not only to photograph them but to be comfortable, so that I can capture what happens naturally.” On the pages that follow, the personality of a distinct part of New England does indeed emerge, between the moments when Schultz’s camera clicked and strangers let him in to see.

Mel Allen


Mel Allen


Mel is the fifth editor of Yankee Magazine since its beginning in 1935. His career at Yankee spans more than three decades, during which he has edited and written for every section of the magazine, including home, food, and travel. In his pursuit of stories, he has raced a sled dog team, crawled into the dens of black bears, fished with the legendary Ted Williams, picked potatoes in Aroostook County, and stood beneath a battleship before it was launched. Mel teaches magazine writing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is author of A Coach’s Letter to His Son. His column, “Here in New England,” is a 2012 National City and Regional Magazine Awards Finalist for the category Column.

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