A group of walkers and cyclers joined the Randolph Mountain Club’s “Tales and Trails” excursion in mid-July on the Presidential Rail Trail between the Pinkham-B Road and Mineral Springs.
RMC historian Judy Hudson shared historical vignettes about the Bumpus and Howker famiies, the early settlers in this area of Randolph valley, the paleo-Indian archaeological sites across the Moose River, and the coming of the railroad in 1892.
The main goal of the trip was to visit the deserted, overgrown bottling factory at Mineral Springs, which was established once the railroad had been built. A huge facility, the Mt. Madison Spring plant is now mostly hidden in the trees, and the loading spur for the factory has completely disappeared. An ad for their product proclaimed that “Our Dolly Copp Ginger Ale, Bottled from the Spring in the heart of our White Mountain U.S. Forestry Reservation, noted for purity and excellence—always cool and refreshing, with a medicinal value that exerts beneficial actions on the system, stimulating digestion and physical activities.”