The town of Gorham was incorporated in 1836, after having been in existence since 1771 as Shelburne Addition. In its early years, the town contained little more than poor rocky farms, small logging operations, a few stores and stables. The arrival of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (later to be known as the Grand Trunk Railway) in 1851, had a profound and lasting impact upon this part of the Androscoggin Valley. Suddenly, other White Mountain towns that had enjoyed the bulk of the fast growing tourist trade found their stagecoach connections eclipsed by Gorham and its railroad. Tourists from the East coast and Canada flocked to the railroad owned White Mountain Station House (later known as the Alpine House), to the nearby Glen House, the summit of Mt. Washington, and other scenic spots.
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