Monday, January 14, 2013

1896 Graduation Photograph of Raymond Hezekiah Torrey, Georgetown High School, Georgetown, Massachusetts

1896 graduation photograph of Raymond H. Torrey, a student at Georgetown High School, Georgetown, Massachusetts.

The photograph was taken by the Bailey & Fuller studio of Haverhill, Massachusetts.

I had no idea when I picked out this photograph to research that it would take me to two favorite places, Deer Isle and the Appalachian Trail...

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Raymond Hezekiah Torrey was born 16 July 1880 at Georgetown, Massachusetts, the son of Sea Captain Grafton F. Torrey and wife Margaret Leonora (Warren) Torrey, both of whom were born at Deer Isle, Maine.

Raymond's paternal grandparents were Francis Haskell Torrey and Hannah (Eaton) Torrey.  His maternal grandparents were William and Margaret (Babbidge) Warren.

After graduation, Raymond started his journalism career as a reporter for the Georgetown Advocate in his home town and later moved to the Springfield Union, at Springfield, Massachusetts.  By 1903 he had moved to New York City to work for the New York City News Assocation.  Throughout his career he reported for or managed at the New York American, the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post.

His last position was as a columnist writing the influential hiking column "The Long Brown Path" for The New York Post.

To many, though, his most important life's work was as a botanist, conservationist and trail creator and steward.  A section of trail he worked on became the first officially completed section of the Appalachian Trail.  A monument to him, the Torrey Monument, is located in that section on Long Mountain in New York.

On 18 April 1909 at Brooklyn, New York, Raymond Hezekiah Torrey married Elizabeth R. "Bessie" Bastible, daughter of Daniel Ignatius Bastible and Ellen A. (Turner) Bastible.  Bessie was born 31 August 1890 in New Jersey.

The couple had at least two children, a son and a daughter.  To the shock of many in the hiking world, Raymond died of a heart attack on 15 July 1938 at Hollis, Queens, New York.  His ashes were scattered atop Long Mountain, which afforded one of his favorite views.  See a minute and a half video of that panoramic view here.

If you have corrections and/or information to share, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.


  1. There was a Appalachian Trail Shelter named after him in Fahnestock State Park. The shelter was near where the beach is today.Built in 1940 we think and dismantled in 1976 by the park staff.

  2. Interesting! Sorry that it had to be dismantled or my son might have sheltered in it on his thru-hike.

  3. All that remains of the shelter are the fire place,1/8 inch wire mesh that were used for the sleeping sections and the cleared area were the shelter was. The Appalachian Trail went down in front of the shelter in 1957. In order in get to the shelter then( going south bound direction) one took a 70 yard right hand up hill blue blaze trail. By 1972 the trail had moved 60 yards to the west of the shelter and the old blue blazed trail to the shelter fell out of use.

    1. Thanks for this update. Seems likely that my 1995 thru-hiker son did not stay at this shelter after all...