Friday, June 11, 2010

Coppermine Brook Trail, Franconia, NH

This plaque has been attributed to movie star Bette Davis, the "Grateful One".

Details first: Handsome Arthur Farnsworth (who is the Keeper of the Stray Ladies) worked at Pecketts on Sugar Hill, once a popular resort in Sugar Hill, NH in the 30's and 40's. They also created the first ski school in the US, but there will more on that later.

Back to the plaque: Mr. Farnsworth was also in charge of finding any "stray ladies" who had managed to get themselves lost on the many nature trails around the resort area.

Legend has it that Bette Davis (who was smitten with Arthur Farnsworth) intentionally wandered off the trail so she could be rescued by the tall and handsome trail guide (it is also mentioned that he was the innkeeper as well). The two became friends and eventually became Bette's second husband. The story goes that he fell down the stairs in Butternut (Bette Davis' Sugar Hill estate which will be shown later) and died tragically two weeks later walking on a street in Hollywood. The marriage only lasted three years and the death hit her hard. After he died, the trips to Butternut became less and less frequent, but she never forgot him. She kept the house in Sugar Hill until she sold it sometime in the 60's. Shortly after that, the above plaque appeared mysteriously on the middle of a boulder in Coppermine Brook. It has also been suggested that this was the very boulder that she was rescued from.

Peckett's on Sugar Hill

There are no signs pointing to it and it's not obvious to the passerby. The original trail runs straight through to Bridal Veil Falls (more on that later as well). The trail is far above where the plaque is and you have to travel down toward the brook to see it. My friends found it twice before but this time was a little difficult because a fallen tree blocked their view.

To get to it take the Coppermine Brook Trail path to a clearing in the woods until you come to a small arrow which points up the path. It reads "Bridal Veil Falls." Look to your right and you'll see a flat area leading down to the brook. Follow that straight down and you should be able to see the boulder with the plaque.

Update: 1/1/11

Well, I promised to show you later and I'm sorry it took so long, but here are some updates to this page:

Link to pamphlet on the history of Butternut Farm, Bette Davis' home in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire. Pics of Bette, Arthur Farnsworth and the interior of the farm are pictured.

article in Union Leader regarding the sale of the Butternut Estate, 10/26/08 article.aspx?headline=Bette+Davis%27+beloved+Sugar+Hill+home+for+sale&articleId=02d3c1f7-ea18-4f95-83cc-1304b94050ad

Sugar Hill NH Treasures Uncovered:  picture of Bridal Veil Falls and a brief history of Butternut and the area.
Renting out Butternut Farm.  Bette Davis had two built.

 Here is the first Butternut Cottage, also for rent.

Another article about Sugar Hill and Bette Davis, Arthur Farnsworth history

I should also include that the picture of Peckett's is a postcard I found on the web.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading about this, Clyde!