Historic Profile: Galehead Hut

The original Galehead Hut. Photo: AMC ArchivesThough it may be difficult to imagine a time before Goretex and polypropylene, the original keepers of the huts used innovative means in constructing and maintaining the huts, in addition to keeping themselves well shod. Hanque Parker, one of the first hut masters, observed that "1942 was BVS (Before Vibram Soles) and most hutmen used hobnailed boots. Joe Dodge had an agreement with the cobbler in Gorham that would build on a half inch leather sole into which we would hammer the hob nails. The AMC supplied the hobnails and each hut had an iron cobbler's last so we could keep our boots well nailed. The beauty of hob nails is that they were unaffected by water, so the boots would stick well to most rocks, rain or shine."

A brief history of the hut:

  • Completed in 1932 along with Zealand Falls as part of legendary hut manager Joe Dodge’s plan to make all of the huts a day’s hike apart.
  • Constructed with logs from trees growing nearby.
  • Used the space under the porch instead of a refrigerator to keep perishable food cold.
  • Gained a temporary 360 degree view when the Hurricane of 1938 flattened the surrounding trees.
  • Nicknamed "Ghoul" because of its distinction as the home of a human skull known as "Daid Haid," which used to be kept on a shelf in the dining room. Brought back to the hut from a Pemigewasset logging camp in the late 1930s by hut master Huck Sharp, the skull was a favorite raiding item until it appeared in the punch at Ann Dodge’s (Joe Dodge’s daughter) wedding in 1953. Believing the action to be inappropriate, Hutman Brooks Van Everen got rid of it.
Photo: AMC Archives
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