Willey House Avalanche, 1826

Willey House Avalanche, Crawford Notch, N.H., 1826

On 28 August 1826, the Willey family and their two hired men, left their house (right) to seeks shelter in a structure farther downhill (lower left) from an approaching storm. When the storm arrived, however, it caused "an avalanche or slide from the mountains," which killed the entire family.

The site of the avalanche and the Willey house became a tourist attraction, and it was depicted on prints, such as this one, and also a painting by Thomas Cole. The Willey disaster also provided the basis for Nathanial Hawthorne's story "The Ambitious Guest,"

On 28 August 1826, the Willey family and their two hired men, left their house (right) to seeks shelter in a structure farther downhill (lower left) from an approaching storm. When the storm arrived, however, it caused "an avalanche or slide from the mountains," which killed the entire family.

The site of the avalanche and the Willey house became a tourist attraction, and it was depicted on prints, such as this one, and also a painting by Thomas Cole. The Willey disaster also provided the basis for Nathanial Hawthorne's story "The Ambitious Guest,"

Willey House Avalanche, 1826