Harry Alan Gregg, founder of the Crotched Mountain Foundation, was born in 1883. His love for children inspired him to start a program in Nashua where he arranged for host families to take poor children into their homes for the summer. This idea soon expanded and Gregg established a camp for children on Crotched Mountain.
Once Gregg established the children’s camp, he met Ezra Jones, MD, who was working to rehabilitate World War I veterans with war injuries. Jones was the first orthopedic doctor in New Hampshire. Together, they founded the New Hampshire Society for Crippled Children in 1936. The Society publicized the need for more extensive treatment programs for people with disabilities, lobbied for favorable legislation and carried on mobile rehabilitation clinics around the state.
One day, while passing through Greenfield, Gregg was stopped by a local resident who suggested that he consider the property on top of Crotched Mountain for expanding his children’s programs. Gregg was thrilled with the idea.
Crotched Mountain opened its doors 1953. The hallmark of its near 60-year history has been an ability to adapt to meet the needs of many populations, many of whom have unique challenges and disabilities.
Today, Crotched Mountain provides services to over 2,000 children and adults each year. Though Harry A. Gregg died in 1972, the vision of Crotched Mountain is still guided by something he once said:
“The most remarkable thing about the handicapped is that they are seeking but an ordinary future. It is up to us to help them in any way we can.”
In 1953, Harry Alan Gregg, Nancy Woodman (student), Helen Crathern (Education Administrator), and Elizabeth Orton Jones (famous writer and illustrator of children’s books and creator of the “Four Seasons” murals at Crotched Mountain) mark the opening of Crotched Mountain’s 40-bed Children’s Center for children with polio. (photo above)
In 2011, former Senator Judd Gregg (grandson of Harry Alan Gregg) and members of the Gregg family were on hand to mark the opening of the Gregg Trail, part of the first wheelchair accessible hiking trails on Crotched Mountain. (photo below)