A Bit of Personal History


A bit of North Road history is seen in these photographs taken by my uncle,
photographer – Alfred Gescheidt, in the mid-fifties (1950s) unless otherwise noted.

Read or listen to Cyndy Bittinger’s Mini-Blog about my mother, Malvine Cole, on VPR.net.  (03/19/2013)

She was an artist, writer, politician, cross word puzzle creator and pond developer.  She has often been called the mother of the Stratton Mountain resort since she was one of its early developers.

She moved my brother and I up to Stratton and the Scott Nearing Community in 1950.


Malvine Cole
This is the Cole Cabin being built in the late 40’s. Notice the adz lying on the right. This tool was used to trim the logs so they would fit together. This log cabin was made the old fashioned way.
This is a photograph taken directly in front of the cabin looking up North Road. Notice the horse up on the left. The barn and the house belonged to Harold Field, his wife Natalie, daughters Barbara and Gretchen and son Dana, my childhood friends. Though the house and barn are gone, the two Field daughters still own the land the homestead was built on.

Harold ran a small farm with chickens, a cow, some horses and a large garden.

My brother and I in the summer of 1952 sitting on the stone wall across from the Field place. When we moved here , we lived first in the Cabin and then in the House. When we arrived, there was no electricity and no running water. You had to use a hand pump. The Federal Rural Electrification Act paid for the running of the lines to our rural area.
This is a photograph taken in the middle of winter looking down at the Field place. The Stratton Ski area did not exist yet. We used to ski down the hill from where this photograph was taken. The hill was completely open. Now trees cover it.

The Fields along with a lot of other folks, journeyed to Vermont in the 40’s to be with Scott Nearing of Living the Good Life fame. When he moved up to Maine,  the community broke up.

And here is a photo taken in March of 1961 of a ski lesson taking place on the hill. The instructor was provided by the new ski area.
And looking back up the hill at the skiers. Now you may ask, ‘how did we get up the hill?’ We got up the hill the old fashioned way, by side stepping up the hill with our skis on. It took some time, but it was great fun coming down.

In those days, skis were measured by raising your hand up into the air and then measuring from the tips of your fingers to the ground. (photograph by Malvine Cole)

April 1958, taken looking up the road from the cabin. North Road doesn’t look that much different now in the winter; a lovely time of year.