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42-year-old Family Photo wins Mount Washington Cog Railway contest

BRETTON WOODS, N.H. - Within a collection of decades-old family photographs was one that depicted a summer adventure 43 years ago and which became the winner of a contest sponsored by the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

Two young girls, wrapped in hooded sweatshirts, and their stylish mother, wearing a bright floral print sweater, posed one August day in 1966 atop Mount Washington, where they had arrived via the Cog Railway. In the background is one of the steam engines and blue sky beyond it.

"I was one of the subjects in one of the family vacation photos," said Dale Loomis of Concord, pictured in the middle of the photo wearing the yellow hooded sweatshirt, standing between her sister, Beth, and mom, Jean." It brings back a lot of memories. My dad had asked me whether it would be colder or warmer at the summit and, based on the logic of an 8-year-old, I replied it would be warmer, because it would be closer to the sun. Was I ever wrong!"

42-year-old Family Photo wins Mount Washington Cog Railway contestThe summer of 2008 marked the 25th anniversary that the Presby and Bedor families purchased the historic Mount Washington Cog Railway and in honor of the occasion, a family photo contest put out the call for photos taken during summer vacations at the Cog.

"The response was wonderful," said Wayne Presby, president of the Cog. "Some people really went back in their scrapbooks and found photos that really are a snapshot in time in the long history of the Cog."

Loomis, who was 8 when her father, Raymond Loomis, snapped the picture of her, her sister, Beth, who now lives in Arlington, Mass., and their mom, Jean, said the Cog photo was discovered in a mountain of slides her father was sorting through before he died in 2007.

"He wanted to give the photos to his children and he sorted through them," Loomis said, giving them to his son-in-law, Bradley Stenstrom of Greenacres, Fla. to be included in a CD collection. "Two years later, as Brad went to put them on a CD, we noticed this picture and it brought back memories," she said.

Raymond Loomis was a structural engineer, used to high places. His daughter, Dale, was not, so she clung to her mother and sister.

"It became a family joke because we couldn't understand my fear of heights," she said.

The family received a 2009 White Mountains Family Fun Pass, which includes admissions to all 16 White Mountains Attractions, as well as lodging at the Mount Washington Resort.

"Going up Mount Washington was so significant and so exceptional to go up on the Cog," Loomis said. "I look at the picture and it brings back memories of how great it was."

LupineThe Mount Washington Cog Railway is a National Historic Engineering Landmark. Its first locomotive, Old Peppersass, reached the summit of Mount Washington on July 3, 1869, making it the world's first mountain climbing railroad using a toothed cogwheel to engage the rack between the rails.

Old Peppersass is on display at the Marshfield Station and the Cog Railway Museum, which is full of memorabilia and the rich history of this pioneering railroad, is open. Admission is free to the museum.

Tickets for Cog Railway excursions and the ability to choose a steam or biodiesel train can be found online at Due to the popularity of the rides, advance reservations are strongly recommended.

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