Today a trip to town takes minutes.
For homesteaders, traveling the bumpy 15 miles to Conway by wagon took 3 hours, on a good day.
Trips to the store would not have been casual affairs, but a chance to stock up on supplies.
50 lb. sacks of grain or seed, cloth to sew clothes for the who family, a rare chance to send and receive mail.
The stagecoach connection
The stage was the link with the outside world.
The driver brought these isolated hill farmers newspapers, made purchases for farmers in town, even did their banking.
Families could avoid the 3 hour shopping trip to Conway after Amzi and Eliza Russell began selling supplies at their farm.
Tourists also used the stage to reach the Valley until the 1920s.
The men who drove the stages
They were colorful characters, usually men who also owned a farm or an inn. Jim Shackford, owner of Shackford's Passaconaway House Inn, was typical - a good storyteller, a skilled driver, and able to quickly fix a wheel broken by the rutted road or a frost-heaved stone.
The road remains, the community fades away
As this 1892 map shows, this road was once lined with farms.
Today you can still find clues to the past such as old cellar holes cemeteries, old hotel sites, and stonewalls
scattered about the Forest.
How many traces of the vanished farm landscape can you spot during your stay?