CONCORD, New Hampshire — On July 2, the State of New Hampshire increased its ownership of the land at the summit of Mount Washington. The deed to 8.2 acres of land was officially transferred to the State by Dartmouth College at a price of $2.1 million, to be financed by Dartmouth over 10 years.
The property is located on the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak. It directly abuts and will become part of the Mount Washington State Park, which is surrounded by the 750,000-acre White Mountain National Forest.
In 1962, Dartmouth acquired 67 acres of land at the summit of Mount Washington. Fifty-nine acres were sold to the State in 1964, facilitating the creation of Mount Washington State Park. The remaining 8.2 acres were retained by Dartmouth, as they were subject to a 65-year lease signed in 1944 granting a third party all broadcasting rights at the summit. In 2002, the State of New Hampshire acquired the third party’s interest in the lease, which was scheduled to terminate at the end of 2009.
“We’ve been talking about this transaction since the state took over the leasehold in 2002; we’ve always thought that it was appropriate for the state to own this property,” said Director of Dartmouth Real Estate Paul Olsen. “We wanted this sale to be finalized well before the lease ended so the State could maintain its broadcast facilities without the possibility of interruption.”
“Over many decades, we have enjoyed a very productive working relationship with Dartmouth College on the summit of Mount Washington,” said George Bald, Commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. “This transfer allows the Division of Parks and Recreation to consolidate its management authority over summit operations while honoring Dartmouth’s historic and continuing presence throughout the White Mountains.”
The informal ceremony took place at the property site, after a four-hour hike up Mount Washington by Dartmouth and New Hampshire State officials.
The Mount Washington State Park was established to preserve and develop the summit’s unusual scenic, scientific, historical, and recreational features for public use and enjoyment. The New Hampshire Division and Recreation is part of the Department of Resources and Economic Development and manages 72 state parks, campgrounds, historic sites, trails, waysides and natural areas. To learn more about the Division of Parks and Recreation, visit www.nhstateparks.org or call 603/271-3556.