A SKETCH OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WILLEY FAMILY, BY THE WHITE MOUNTAIN SLIDE OF THE NIGHT OF AUGUST 28, 1826. RELATED BY EDWARD MELCHER, THE ONLY SURVIVOR OF THE PARTY WHO DISCOVERED AND REMOVED THE BODIES OF THE UNFORTUNATE FAMILY FROM THE RUINS, ON THE 31st DAY OF AUGUST, 1826 [cover title]. Lancaster, N. H. Republican Book and Job Printing Office, 1883. 17x12 cm, pp.  2-29 [30: blank], original gray wrappers printed in black, sewn. Fourth edition. An eyewitness account of the disaster that stimulated the early nineteenth-century White Mountain tourist trade. "The Willey House at Crawford Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, originally known as Old Notch House, was built in 1793. Ethan Crawford acquired it in 1823 for use as an inn to accommodate his growing business as a mountain guide, and in 1826 it was occupied by a family headed by Samuel J. Willey Jr. The Willey House is associated principally with a tragedy of August 28, 1826, in which seven members of the Willey family and two other people died ... News of the disaster spread, initially through many regional newspapers, and also through media such as Theodore Dwight's guidebook, THE NORTHERN TRAVELLER. People began to visit the site, drawn to the scene of devastation, human tragedy and the miraculous survival of the structure itself. As well as boosting a nascent tourist industry in the area, in which the Crawford family had already been playing a significant part, it became a source of inspiration for artists and writers ... with the subsequent influx of tourists. In 1828, Ethan [Crawford] began construction of a new inn, called the Notch House, at the northern end of the notch, appointing his brother Thomas to run it. The business opened in 1829 and attracted many notable people, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau and Daniel Webster ... Horace Fabyan, who was a merchant and a speculator in the emerging tourism industry, took control of the Willey House in 1845 and converted it into a 50-bed hotel. Visitor interest in the effects of the disastrous storm waned over time, despite the efforts of people such as Benjamin Willey to maintain and profit by it by offering guided tours of the house for a fee. It had become old news and nature had taken it course to cover much of the scenic damage. The site of the house and the landslide is now an interpretive center within Crawford Notch State Park" (Wikipedia). There are three earlier editions: Lancaster, N. H.: Coos Republican Print., 1879; Lancaster, N. H.: J. S. Peavey, Book and Job Printer, 1880; and Lancaster, N. H. : Press of Rowell & Batchelder 1881. Bent, p. 57-58 (recording the 1880 edition). Front wrapper chipped along the fore-edge, first leaf creased and wrinkled along the fore-edge, small chip from top edge of last leaf with loss of page number and part of one word in the center of the first line of text, lacks the rear wrapper, a good copy. Copies of any edition are now uncommon. (#166682).
No statement of printing.