I just celebrated my birthday. My husband took me on a road trip from Connecticut to New Hampshire. He wanted to fill my wish about visiting Mount Washington. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft and the most topographically prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River. Not only is the mountain super tall, it is also notorious for its erratic weather. So to climb it, we did not hike, we took the cog rail. The Cog Railway, or simply “the Cog”—was chartered by the New Hampshire State Legislature in 1858 at the request of Sylvester Marsh (1803-1884). The charter allowed him 5 years to build his railroad.
We also visited the museum and learned a ton about the railway. In 1857, not long after relocating to the Boston area, Chicago businessman Sylvester Marsh needed some exercise. Just two years earlier, he had left a successful career in the meat packing and grain drying industries behind, and had accumulated a personal fortune sufficient to guarantee a very comfortable retirement. But boredom and chronic dyspepsia soon became intolerable, so along with his pastor, Marsh returned to his native New Hampshire to climb to the summit of Mount Washington. That hike would forever change his life, and it would then reach down through the years and touch the lives of countless others in the form of the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Marsh came to the conclusion that there should be a safer and more efficient way for travelers to experience the grandeur of the mountain. He decided that he would be the man to make it happen. When he applied for a charter from the New Hampshire State Legislature in 1858 to begin the process of bringing his visionary project to life, he was laughed at and at the State House, they referred to him as “Crazy Marsh.” They even went further with the stipulation that once he reached the summit, he might as well keep going and build his railway to the moon. (Read more at https://www.thecog.com/our-origin-story)
I love this story as an entrepreneur. It teaches first, that when there is a problem we have to find solutions and second, generally people wont believe in your vision, but keep building anyway.
I love this story as the publisher of Olivia Lauren's Olivia Travels because trains have evolved so much as a mode of transportation using steam, coal, electricity, wheeled, gravity powered, or hauled by animals.
While there we stayed at a historic hotel and they still had a phone booth with a rotary phone in the lobby.
This was so exciting to me because of our book Olivia Lauren Olivia Connects.
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