47. CRAIG FAMILY PHOTOS
A LOVE AFFAIR
The Craig family love affair with the White Mountains, and Dolly Copp Campground in particular, had its beginnings shortly after World War I.
The Lees, Boodry, Craig, Fraser and Thurston families from Lowell, Massachusetts would travel up to Pinkham in touring cars to hike. Some of the men had just returned from the war, Uncle Harold Boodry from the Navy, Uncle Bill Lees from the Merchant Marine.
The Boodrys liked to camp at Dolly Copp, but when they went as a group they all stayed in the cabins at Pinkham where they became good friends with Joe Dodge, the legendary hut master.
In 1924, Grandpa Charley Craig stayed on after the rest of the party left to help Joe close the huts for the winter. Joe then drove Grandpa down to Lowell in Azma on his way home to Manchester.
In 1931, Harold and Grandpa Craig took Charley's son, Raymond, on his first camping trip to Dolly Copp. They traveled up from Lowell in Harold's 1929 Model A. They camped in what is now the picnic area. Raymond remembered that there was a Boy Scout troop camped there too.
In 1939, Ray returned with wife Helen and together they embarked on what would be a more than fifty yearlong camping odyssey. Their children Gail, Bobby and Richie joined them as soon as they were born.
In the sixties, their grandchildren became Dolly Coppers and now the great-grandchildren are enjoying the awe-inspiring mountains, the pristine rivers, and the vast forest that drew their ancestors there almost one hundred years ago.
Harold Boodry's site in the 1920s.
Harold Boodry's site in the 1920s.
Harold Boodry on May 31, 1931.
Ray Craig at tent on May 30, 1931.
Ray Craig site on May 30, 1931.
Ray Craig site in 1946.
Bob Christ and son with Ray
JOE DODGE AND
Senior campers and/or lovers
of White Mountain history understand why the lodge at Pinkham
Notch is named after Joe Dodge. Joe was the witty, sometimes cantankerous,
always colorful AMC huts manager at Pinkham for thirty-one years.
Brother Bob and I clearly recall
the time in the early 50s that we met Joe Dodge. We were visiting
Pinkham (as we did on every Dolly Copp vacation) and Dad asked
if Joe was in. He was told that Joe was busy and should not be
Grandpa Charley died suddenly in December of 1952. In a letter written to our parents on January 20, 1953, Joe expressed his distress at the news of his good friend’s passing. He remarked on the “many, many pleasant times together back a few number of years ago” and the “many pleasant calls which were made subsequent.”
Sixty years after Grandpa’s
death, Joshua Craig (Bob’s grandson and fifth generation Dolly
Copp camper) reestablished the Dodge-Craig connection. Josh volunteered
in July 2012 for a weeklong stint as an AMC trail hand based at
The circle is complete; Grandpa Charley must be smiling.
Grandpa Charley (front row, first
Grandpa in Azma, 1924, getting ready
Joe (second from left with some
Josh getting ready to sign in
Craig Family in 1952.
Craigs at Flat Rock in 1953.
Gail and Bobby Craig in 1954
Bobby and Gail in 1954 at "Howard
Charlie and Gail (Craig) Gordon with
Craigs and Gordons sharing Site 28
Charlie and Gail Craig Gordon climbing
Karen Craig with Kim, Brian and Scott on top of Pine Mountain in October of 1979
Kim Craig and cousin Dube
Comment by Bob Craig: “The above is amongst the Craig Family photos taken in 1984 on Columbus Day Weekend. My late wife, my mother-in law, my daughter and cousin Dube were nice and snug and warm sleeping in our first little 22 foot motorhome, but my two sons were out there in their tent.
I remember thinking my mother-in law was joking when she told us to wake up and look out the window as it was snowing that morning. It was truly a sight to see. I have a number of photos from that morning including a photo of me getting pelted by snow balls thrown by my two sons.
My brother Richie has camped in Barnes Field in February
in a tent. He said he knew it was cold when he tried to crack
an egg for breakfast and it was frozen solid.”
Richie Craig and sons talking
Kim Craig second from left, with
David Gordon, Gail Craig Gordon,
Golden Falcon trailer the Gordons
Bob Craig with his children and
Wedding Cake in Picnic Pavilion in 2003
Bob Craig and grandchildren at the
Peabody River in 2003
The Gordon’s campsite in Big Meadow
Bob Craig at Site 4 with motor home
and scooter 2006
Craig Family at Dolly Copp August 2010
Gail Craig Gordon at Site 25
Charlie Gordon at