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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
At a ceremony on July 2, Dartmouth College officially transferred to the State of New Hampshire the deed to 8.2 acres of land at the summit of Mt. Washington. The property was sold to the state at a price of $1.64 million, to be financed by Dartmouth over 10 years.
The ceremony took place at the property site, after an approximately four-hour hike up Mt. Washington by Dartmouth and New Hampshire state officials. The property is located on the summit of the Northeast's highest peak. It directly abuts and will become part of the Mt. Washington State Park, which is surrounded by the 750,000-acre White Mountain National Forest.
Dartmouth acquired 67 acres of land at the summit of Mt. Washington in 1962. In 1964, 59 acres were sold to the State facilitating the creation of Mt. Washington State Park. The remaining 8.2 acres were retained by Dartmouth as they were subject to a 65-year lease signed in 1944 that granted a third party all broadcasting rights at the summit. In 2002, the State of New Hampshire acquired the third party's interest in the lease which was scheduled to terminate at the end of 2009.
"We've been talking about this transaction since the state took over the leasehold in 2002; we've always thought that it was appropriate for the state to own this property," said Director of Dartmouth Real Estate Paul Olsen. "We wanted this sale to be finalized well before the lease ended so the State could maintain its broadcast facilities without the possibility of interruption."
"Over many decades, we have enjoyed a very productive working relationship with Dartmouth College on the summit of Mount Washington," said George Bald, Commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development with the State of New Hampshire. "This transfer allows the Division of Parks and Recreation to consolidate its management authority over summit operations while honoring Dartmouth's historic and continuing presence throughout the White Mountains."
The Mt. Washington State Park was established to preserve and develop the summit's unusual scenic, scientific, historical, and recreational features for public use and enjoyment. On April 12, 1934, the scientists at the summit recorded a wind gust of 231 miles per hour, the highest wind speed ever observed on the surface of the earth.
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