Logging History Comes Alive in Lincoln, New Hampshire

| September/October 1990

Rt 1, Box 140A Campton, NH 03223

Saturday, the seventeenth of February, marked the end of thirteen years of effort by the Clark family of Lincoln, New Hampshire, as they unveiled,

a newly rebuilt, steam powered Lombard log hauler. Antique engine enthusiasts and forest historians gathered from all over New England to celebrate this major restoration effort and to photograph the giant machine in action. Following formal dedication ceremonies inside the White Mountain Central Railroad's brick engine house, those who braved blackening skies and snow squalls were treated to the sight of what is believed to be one of only two operating Lombards in the East, perhaps the nation.

The Clark family consists of two brothers, their children and grandchildren, eight families in all. The Clarks founded, own and operate a fifty year old amusement center called Clark's Trading Post which includes a Victorian village with buildings full of turn-of-the-century machinery and memorabilia. The Trading Post is famous in the White Mountains area for its 'Gold Standard Family Entertainment,' for the wild bear shows and for the White Mountain Central Railroad, which features three operating steam-powered logging locomotives, a Heisler, a Climax and a Porter. The Clarks are no strangers to mechanical restoration, they've rebuilt locomotives, steam rollers, antique autos, an Amoskeag steam fire engine, numerous band organs and a steam powered sawmill.

While a blizzard raged outside, family and friends gathered in the engine house to hear the history of the Lombard's discovery and reassembly and to view a photographic record of the whole process. A job this big requires a lot of teamwork and David Clark, who spearheaded the effort, claims he couldn't have done it without the help of his 'team', Leon Noel and Ronnie 'Bum' Harrington of Lincoln and Don Johnson, Jr. of Campton, New Hampshire, each of the men credits the others with doing most of the work.

David and his father, Edward, described their first efforts to acquire the Lombard. Considerable recognition was given to Henry Waldo of Lincoln, whose information about derelict haulers buried in the north woods of Maine sparked the interest of the Clarks. David, Leon and Don traveled to Maine in October of 1977 to follow up one of Henry's leads. The team entered the woods near Knowles Brook that fall with a truck, a long low-bed trailer, an International bulldozer and camping equipment. Two old Lombards had been abandoned at this site some sixty years before. One winter in the early seventies, someone had attempted to pull them out of the frozen ground with heavy equipment. In the process, the first one had been torn apart and then bulldozed under so the second one could be removed. The first machine was then left to the mercy of the elements and to those who stripped it for spare parts.