Eagle Mountain House // 1916

The Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, NH stands on land once part of a grant to Captain Joseph Pinkham. Pinkham, one of Jackson’s first settlers, erected a log house in 1790 on land that now makes up the current hotel grounds. The log cabin was replaced by a frame house which stood directly on the site of the present hotel which eventually became part of the first hotel. The Eagle Mountain Farm as it was called, consisted of
300 acres of hilly terrain covered in forest and fields and lined with old stone walls.

In 1879, decedents of Pinkham opened up the farmhouse to twelve guests. Over the next few years, they expanded the farm house and built a cottage, ultimately accommodating 125 guests. In May 1915 the hotel was destroyed by fire, and the couple decided to re-build what would become one of the few surviving grand mountain resort hotels in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. On the fourth of July in 1916, the new Eagle Mountain House, designed by Arthur Hale, the owner, opened to large crowds.

Like all large hotels of the era, the Eagle Mountain House was nearly self-sufficient. Its farm produced vegetables, dairy products and meat for guests. Ice was cut from the pond and sold throughout the village. A livery on the grounds accommodated horses and carriages, but a bigger attraction was no doubt the hotel garage, complete with attendants and automobile supplies for complete servicing. On-site entertainment was provided by the hotel orchestra which offered concerts and weekly dances. Flower beds and careful landscaping dotted the grounds. Outdoor recreational facilities included a golf course (laid out in 1931), tennis courts, croquet courts, shuffleboard court, and fishing and swimming in the nearby Wildcat River. By 1926, a bathing pool had been constructed. The hotel even had a resident deer family that inhabited the grounds of the hotel, amusing porch loungers, many of whom were visiting from urban areas. The hotel’s major recreational asset, however, was (and still is) its proximity to the White Mountains.