New Hampshire Missing Places: Glacial Park, Thornton

Thornton New Hampshire is located in the picturesque valley of the Pemigewasset River.

glacialpark1-watermarkedThat stream extends through nearly the center of the township, north and south. In the 1823 Gazeteer of the State of New-Hampshire is mentioned: “On Mill brook, there is a cascade, of which the water falls 7 feet in 2 rods and then falls over a rock 42 feet perpendicular.”  The New England Gazeteer of 1841, by John Hayward states: “On Mill brook, there is a cascade, at which the water falls 7 feet in 2 rods, and then falls over a rock 42 feet perpendicular.” In 1875 George L. Brown painted a picture of “Mill-Brook Cascade, at Thornton, New Hampshire.”

In 1886 the History of  Grafton County New Hampshire, stated  of this river in Thornton, “One of its several tributaries includes the Mill brook, from the east, where there is a beautiful cascade, the water falling from a perpendicular rock forty-two feet in height.”

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. Millbrook Cascade, near Campton Village, N.H.

In 1890, the tourism book entitled, Summer Outings in the Old Granite State, published by the railroad companies, mentions: “Mill Brook Cascades are in this town [Thornton], and are visited either from here or from Campton Village.”

According to “Strange New England,” this cascade was once part of “Glacial Park” a commercial venture, encompassing a large tract of land near the cascade.  Apparently there were bungalows for rent, as attested to by old postcards, and brochures.

Welcome building and ticket office for Glacial Park, now defunct

Photograph of Welcome building and ticket office for Glacial Park, now defunct,  from an old postcard.

The location of this former park is in a secluded area northeast of the current Shamrock Motel, on Mill Brook Road  This cascade is now on private property.

The park was still in existence in 1968.

In 2013, nhmagazine.com printed an online article about finding lost waterfalls in New Hampshire.

And old bridge, no longer in existence, located at Glacial Park.

And old bridge, no longer in existence, located at Glacial Park.

 

In 2014, a real estate broker named Steve Loynd located the old entrance to the park, described what he saw and took several great photographs.

Tidbit: The World Waterfall Database states that this falls is also called “Rainbow Falls.” [the information probably obtained from a 1955 book naming waterfalls by Walter Lewis Zorn].

If you have additional knowledge about this Glacial Park, please let me know!

In the 1930s you could have purchased this post card to let your friends know you visited Glacial Park in Thornton NH

In the 1960s you could have purchased this post card to let your friends know you visited Glacial Park in Thornton NH

New Hampshire has many cascades and falls… do you have a favorite?

Janice

–Additional Reading–

More Current Photographs of Glacial Park, Thornton NH

New Hampshire Waterfalls – NHStateParks.com

Editor’s Note: This original story was written 12 August 2006 and updated 1 October 2015 with the addition of several postcard photographs, and links to other stories written about these or other falls in New Hampshire.

P.S.: Please do not confuse this park with Glacier National Park in Montana.

***ADDITIONAL READING***

Thornton [NH] Historical Society

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3 Responses to New Hampshire Missing Places: Glacial Park, Thornton

  1. Pingback: Glacial Park NH - Strange New England

    • Janice Brown says:

      Christopher, you are a wonderful photographer. Thank you for commenting and leaving a link to this beautiful cascade–one of New Hampshire’s natural wonders.
      Janice Brown

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