After a long wait, winter has finally arrived. We have had a wild weather ride this winter and it looks like the ping-pong temperatures will continue with warm to frigid and back again. The recent extreme cold and snow made me think of the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room collection related to polar exploration.
Earlier this week the truck I was driving to work stalled out, stranding me in 20 degree weather. That made me think specifically about the challenges of technology in the cold weather and the often tragic and dangerous history of polar explorations especially the problems they had with airplanes and snowmobiles. Did you know if it were not for White Mountain local Arthur Walden and his dogs, the Byrd expedition to the south pole would have failed?
The Conway Public Library’s Henney History Room has some great resources on early polar explorers. Due to our sometimes extreme weather and closeness to metropolitan areas, this area served as base for many famous cold region explorers and adventurers such as Greely, Peary, Byrd, Walden, Ricker, Clarke, Seppala and of course the dogs, Chinook, Kim, Ningo, Igloo, Balto, Rud, Yard, Kip, Ling, Riki, Tiki, Tavi, Togo and Tug.
Some of this history will be revealed at an upcoming outreach program at the Gibson Center later this month. If you would like to schedule one of our outreach programs for your school or club please contact us.
We are also working on several “frozen” type projects including a student history fair on explorers, a film on dog sledding, and a project with the NH Folklife Program on making dog sleds.
Hope to see you on the trail!