2014-07-01 15:21:47.000 – Ethan Wright, Summit Intern
The current Auto Road Stage Office
One of the unique buildings on top of the summit of Mt. Washington is the Auto Road Stage Office. The building today is used as a gift shop and hiker shuttle stop by the operators of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The Stage Office standing today is a replica of the original Stage Office which was built by the Summit Stage Company in 1908, and served as the first home of the Mount Washington Observatory from 1932 to 1937.
It was in the original Stage Office where observers recorded the ‘Big Wind’ of April 12th, 1934. On that day the peak wind gust was recorded at 231 miles per hour, a world record which stood until 1996. Chains which serve to keep the building in place are stretched across the roof and are a constant reminder of the extreme winds that occur here.
It was a different time and place when observers worked in the Stage Office in the 1930’s. Many of the amenities and comforts of home that we have at the observatory today were nonexistent in the 30’s such as internet. The main method of communication that observers used was short range radio contact with Pinkham Notch.
The observers who recorded the weather conditions in the 1930’s were the first in a long line of observers who have kept the tradition of the Mt. Washington Observatory alive throughout the years.
Ethan Wright, Summit Intern