Jan's Blog

Hubert Goodrich Revealed

November 8, 2012

I recently wrote about the Goodrich Heather located on the Waterville Valley Golf Course.  Although “Goodrich” is a well-known name in Waterville Valley, I couldn’t find any information about Hubert Goodrich.

Soon after the blog post I received a letter from Bruce “Bear” Andrew who lived and worked in Waterville Valley for many years.

Bear wrote, “[Hubert Goodrich] was a professor of biology at Wesleyan University in New York, and also taught at Woods Hole.  He was maternal grandfather of Dr. Susan Scrimshaw, president of Sage Colleges in Albany, NY.

Lo and behold, the November 1, 2012 issue of the Waterville Valley WigWag arrived in my mail and in it I found an article, Hubert Baker Goodrich – The Man Behind the Heather, by Susan Crosby Scrimshaw!

Susan writes:

Hubert Baker Goodrich was my grandfather.  He was a third generation Waterville Valley summer resident.  When you include my daughter, six generations of our family have spent time in Waterville Valley.  We still live nearby, on the Sandwich Notch Road.

In the early 1880s Hubert’s mother, Mary Grace Batchelder of Loudon, NH, accompanied her father to the old Waterville Inn on a fishing trip.  Arthur Lewis Goodrich, a Boston teacher, came hiking over Osceola, and first met Mary Grace in Waterville Valley.  After their marriage, they bought the cottage closest to the Inn.  It had been built in 1877 by the Rev. J. M. Buckley, who in 1880 built the stone tower next door.  Ruins were a very popular romantic concept in that era, and he is known to have said, “Waterville Valley has everything except a ruined castle.”

Arthur Lewis Goodrich created many of the hiking trails around the Valley, and discovered Goodrich Rock.  He drew early maps of the Valley and trails, and in 1892 wrote a pamphlet The Waterville Valley:  a History, Description and Guide, which was revised in 1904 and 1916.  Originals of the maps and pamphlet still exist.

Mary and Arthur Goodrich had three children, Nathaniel Lewis, Hubert Baker and Margaret, all of whom spent summers in Waterville Valley for most of their lives.

Nathaniel Goodrich was the Dartmouth College librarian for many years, and is in the New Hampshire Ski Hall of Fame for helping to bring skiing to the state, including to Mt. Tecumseh.  In addition to building and maintaining trails in the Waterville area, he wrote the first history of the Valley – The Waterville Valley:  a Story of a Resort in the New Hampshire Mountains (1952, The North Country Press, Lunenburg, Vermont).

Hubert Goodrich – known as “Granddaddy” to us – was a professor of biology at Wesleyan College in CT.  He married Clara Crosby Ware from Hingham, MA.  Clara (“Granny”) used to love to tell the story that before their marriage, she had to earn her right to be a Goodrich by climbing all the peaks in the Valley.

Hubert also built and maintained trails in the Valley region.  He was an avid photographer, and his photographs help to illustrate the years of the Valley from his youth into his old age.

The heather Hubert planted in 1914 had been a gift to his mother.  At the end of the summer he took the small pot of heather and planted it near the edge of the golf course (then), thinking it probably would not survive the winter.  It has endured not only the one winter, but (now) for almost 100 years.  After his death in 1963, Valley residents put up the memorial sign.

Hubert and Clara had two children, Mary Ware Goodrich – my mother – and Arthur Lewis Goodrich, both of whom continued the family tradition of summers in the Valley.  My mother met Nevin Stewart Scrimshaw at Woods Hole where he was my grandfather’s student.  They were married in Waterville Valley in 1941.  I am the oldest of their five children.  My parents winterized the cottage in the 1960s so we spent many  happy winter days skiing and just enjoying the mountains.  Two of my brothers were working at the old Waterville Inn the night it burned, and the Goodrich Cottage sheltered many sad Inn residents that night.

My mother is still with us at age 92.  She and my father (age 94) live in the farmhouse at the beginning of the Sandwich Notch Road.  They sold the cottage in Waterville Valley nearly 25 years ago, but stayed in the mountains they loved.

Like the generations before them, my parents brought their five children to Waterville.  We hiked the trails my great grandfather built and hiked, enjoyed looking at the same mountains, played in the Mad River, and admired the heather.  We had Mr. Rey to show us the stars and draw bears for us, ice cream cones at the Inn after dinner, gatherings with the “cousins,” products of the intermarriages in the Valley.  My grandmother Clara and my infant daughter are in the cemetery on the hill, along with a marker in memory of my grandfather, Hubert.  When I visit there, I walk from stone to stone greeting the many people I knew: Bean, Sosman, Foster, Stearns, Grimes, Lorenz, Meeks, Salinger, and more.

Thanks for sharing the memories of your Granddaddy, Susan.  It helps us appreciate the Goodrich Heather even more.

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget. 1-888-987-8333.

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