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Old 08-03-2004, 08:02 PM   #1
WeirsBeachBoater
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Question Who remembers The Tonimar ???

Here's one for the lake historians, anyone remember this vessel and can anyone tell me where it is today??? Just curious I know the answers, I just want to see if anyone else knows about this historic vessel. Also if anyone has stories about it, I am all ears....
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Old 08-04-2004, 07:42 AM   #2
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Default Tonimar Image

I don't know what's become of it, but here's a great image from the 24th Antique & Classic Boat Show poster:

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Old 08-04-2004, 08:41 AM   #3
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I do not know what became of it either but wasn't it the mail boat that went out of Alton Bay?
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default Tonimar

i could be way off, but it looks like a boat owned by a guy who owns a boat house over by Irwin, and he belongs to the Winter Harbor Yacht Club on Welsh Island.........
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Old 08-04-2004, 04:59 PM   #5
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Here is what I know so far, both of you are correct it was a mail carrying vessel in and around the alton bay and wolfeboro area. The Tonimar was brought to Lake Winnipesaukee in 1940 and served as a passenger vessel and mail delivery until around 1965. It was then laid up in its boathouse in Alton Bay until discovered in 1975 by its present owners. It was then restored and renamed The Great Escape. Now that name must ring a few bells, she is berthed in Paugus Bay and can be seen most friday evenings headed out to the owners island property on the Big Lake. I have been intrigued by The Great Escape for years, and only recently discovered its rich lake history.
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:37 PM   #6
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Default Great Escape

Thanks for posting the name, I could not for the life of me remember what she's called now!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I could contact the owner, my Dad used to rent the second boathouse he owns, and find out more of her history! Thanks again!
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Great Escape

........And something just occurred to me...... are you the current owner of her? If so, I wouldn't have to contact you to find out more -- and if you are, this is a BTW, we still own BEAR and she's still looking gorgeous! (although I still call Bear a "him" instead of a "her", in honor of my Dad!)

Last edited by Waterbaby; 08-04-2004 at 09:41 PM. Reason: adding to text
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:12 PM   #8
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Thumbs up

WeirsBeachBoater

Thanks for the history and current location of the Tonimar.

I do remember her being berthed in a boat house in Alton Bay and recently took some boat house pictures which I posted here. When taking the photo's I wondered if one of the boat houses I photographed was the Tonimar's old home.

Enough has changed along the shore there so I cannot remember the exact location or even if the boat house is still standing. Maybe someone else knows that answer.
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:24 PM   #9
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Unfortunately I am not the owner of the Tonimar... I wish I was. But I am trying to dig up some more of her history as it has intrigued me. There isn't many boats on the lake of her age that are still active. The current owners are The Largey family if I am not mistaken.
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Old 08-25-2004, 05:44 PM   #10
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:11 AM   #11
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“The TONIMAR” Excerpt from “Winnipiseogee Heritage” prepared by the Junior History Class at Alton High School - circa. 1975. Page 13 - No copyright.

“Captain Lawrence Beck started operation the mailboat out of Alton Bay in 1929. The mailboat went into operation on June 15 and ran to September 15, making about 35 stops, which included summer camps, islands and other places having no postal service. The route eventually averaged about 60 miles per day, starting at 8:00 a.m. and finishing at 3:00 p.m.

In 1941 Mr. Beck purchased a new boat, the “Tonimar’; in Bay Head, N.J. It was sailed up the Atlantic coast to Portsmouth and then transported on a 16 wheel tractor trailer to Wolfeboro.

The mailboat carried about 35,000 pieces of mail during the three months’ summer season. It was literally a floating post office, with sale of stamps conducted on board. Mail was run through a cancelling machine, then sorted into pigeonholes for the various camps, islands and other stops. Mailsacks bulging with letters from parents of homesick campers took up much of the space on the boat.

Captain Beck recalled weathering a twister a few years ago on Winnipesaukee. Important in such emergencies was the navigation and communication equipment. There was a depth finder, compass and radio on three frequencies.

Captain Beck and the mailboat retired in 1966, after twenty-nine years of faithful service.”


Postmark - 1959
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:32 PM   #12
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Default And she still sails on today....

Got to love the lines and the heritage of this boat.
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Old 08-13-2005, 10:53 PM   #13
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And here is the "Tonimar" on August 12, 2005 at the Gilford Town Docks. Now called the "Great Escape"
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:29 PM   #14
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Default A long ride!

We took the tour on what we called the Mail Boat back in the 60's! It seemed like a week on the boat that day! It was a good thing that when we stopped in Wolfeboro my grandmother picked up some goodies in the YUM-YUM Shop or we would have starved.

It was a ride unlike any I have had on the lake getting to all the out of the way places and islands while she made her rounds delivering the mail.

Now for a verse of "MEMORIES".
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:27 PM   #15
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Came across this postcard just today. The Legionnaire, The Tonimar and the Sophie C all on one postcard.

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Old 02-10-2006, 07:21 PM   #16
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Default Moonlight Ride

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Old 02-10-2006, 07:23 PM   #17
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Default Operator calling....

I wonder if anyone will try to call that number...
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:58 PM   #18
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Whodda thunk it was no longer in service!!!!! Musta gone outta business!!! couldn't afford the stamps and gas!!!!!
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Old 02-11-2006, 09:14 AM   #19
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Default WOW Awesome Find!!!

Where did you come across that historical piece?
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Old 02-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #20
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Default Mail Boat

Did email kill the mail boat?

We used to be able to tell time when the Mount and Mail Boat came down the bay. Good thing I got a have a watch these days.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:08 PM   #21
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Default e-bay of course!

WBB:
It was for auction on e-bay. Someone else won th auction so I wrote to them on e-bay's "contact member" function. He is from South Carolina but vacations in Alton Bay. I told him it would be great to see it on a forum thread so he made a color copy and mailed it to me! You'd be surprised at how much unsolicited historical material people e-mail to me! McD
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:04 PM   #22
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Default Tonimar at the Canopache Cottages


Wolfeboro - The U.S. Mailboat delivers the morning mail at CANOPACHE LODGE and COTTAGES - Wolfeboro - This Lake Winnipesaukee Resort offers housekeeping cottages and rooms in the Lodge for spring, summer and fall vacations. Overnighters welcome too.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:58 AM   #23
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Default Tonimar

I spent my summers at Alton Bay starting in 1952, and I remember the Tonimar very well. She left early and returned late. Occaisionly we would get to see the former steam yacht Swallow on a trip "down the bay".
Mcdude, thank you for your superb articles about the lake and the early railroads. I think that I can date your Canopache Lodge postcard to 1959 or therabouts. The boat tied to the pier looks like a Thomphson of that era, and the outboard motor on it is an Evinrude, or Johnson 50 hp, v-4, which came out in 1959.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:26 PM   #24
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Her owner when she was a mail boat was Captain Lawerence Beck. He was a real character and a great guy. They don't make um like that any more.Always had a cigar and a story. Lived in Alton all his life. His wife ran a guest home in the summer on main st. in Alton.
He had a large boat house at the Woodlands in West Alton where he dry docked her and worked on her in the winter. Kept her in the boat house in the bay in the summer. Hired Alton high school boys to help him with the mail runs in the summer. I'm sure he looking down with pride that his Tonimar is still on the lake.
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:57 PM   #25
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Smile TallyHo Question

TallyHo,
Was your place on the east side of the bay with a boat of the same name as you? The boat is still there today in the covered dock next to the Collins' place. I loved boat and remember the cottage as well from my youth. Never got a real close up look though. I did see the boat at Shibley's at the Pier last year.
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:25 PM   #26
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Default Tallyho

It must be a different Tallyho. Our cottage was on the west side of Alton Bay, just before the Bayside Motel. The boat was named Tallyho, and is a wooden, blue/white 1965 Chris Craft Cavalier that hasn't been on the lake in about 10 years. I have seen similar boats, but never with the same name.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:19 PM   #27
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Default Tonimar

Yesterday I was diving Paugus and saw this beautiful boat cruising south toward Irwins at a good clip-I asked my friend if it was the Tonimar as it sure looked like the pictures I've seen. He said it was the Great Escape-no recollection of it by another name. She's out there for sure and looking good.
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Old 06-26-2006, 07:38 PM   #28
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Default Tonimar

The Tonimar and the Great Escape are one and the same. See response #13.
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Old 06-27-2006, 04:11 PM   #29
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Default Tonimar

Capt. Beck's old drydock boathouse still exists, but now that little piece of history is incorporated into my neighbor's house on Woodlands Rd. in West Alton.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:07 PM   #30
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Default Another Old Photo of the Tonimar

This photo later published as a postcard for Gould's Dime Store - Wolfeboro
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:54 PM   #31
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Quote:
The vessel left Alton Bay at 7:45 a.m. six days of the week and followed a 67 mile route around the shore and islands of Winnipesaukee including stops at several summer camps. The U.S. Mailboat Tonimar arrived at Wolfeboro, stopped briefly, and left that port around 9:30 to continue along the shores and islands as far as Melvin Village. The second mail was picked up at Melvin Village and delivered on the return route to Alton Bay.
The History of Wolfeboro, NH, 1770-1994 - Volume II - Wolfeboro Historical Society - Q. David Bowers

Her first trip from Wolfeboro was on June 17, 1935.



From a 1956 Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce Brochure
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:04 AM   #32
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Talking The "Great Escape"

In September of 2006 we passed the “Great Escape” in The Weirs Channel. It looked very familiar, so I snapped a picture.



Thanks to McDude, I now know why. It was familiar because it is the old US Mailboat “Tonimar”!
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:50 PM   #33
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Default Ty-oh

TalleyHo,
I remember the blue/white "Talley-Ho" Chris Craft well.

Just Sold,

You are thinking of the "Ty-ho" a 1956 Chris Craft, 26 foot picnic boat style with twin screws, $6,000 new. This was used on a regular basis through 2007. Late last summer the bottom gave out and it sink at the dock; I believe it is no more.

On the north side of Echo Point there was a similar Chris Craft, only with a single screw, the “Hi-Style” owned by an individual in the beauty business.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:39 PM   #34
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Default Hy Style

Hy Style was owned by the Nardello family from somewhere in MA. There was a son called Franny, who was a friend of my sister. He had a varnished "Yellow Jacket" runabout with a 25-35 hp Mercury. It was a beautiful boat and was pretty fast in those days, late 50s early 60s. There were some interesting boats in the neighborhood. A friend bought an early inboard raceboat powered by a Ford flathead V-8 with straight exhausts, his father made him sell it because he figured he would probably kill himself. There were several 8 foot hydroplanes, with Scottatwater or Merc motors, and a Dunfey 55, with a large Ford V-8 and a stepped hull, but the prettiest was a big varnished Chris Craft Holiday from Pine Point.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:28 AM   #35
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Tally-Ho,

Do you remember the year/model of the Chris-Craft Jessie Rogers had? I had a few rides in it and it was a fast and beautiful boat. The last time I saw it many years ago when Jessie was still alive was across the street from the Bay Side Inn next to the old garage.

MeEscape...You are right I had the wrong boat. I had heard that the Ty-Ho had sunk. Sorry to hear she is no more.
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:08 PM   #36
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Default Bayside Chris Craft

Just Sold,

If memory serves correctly, the boat was a 1952 Riviera with the big six cylinder engine. It would pull six skiers out of the water at one time. Jesse would tow all of the kids in the neighborhood behind it, and we'd put on impromptu ski shows for guests at the motel. I don't know what happened to the boat, but Jesse's son Steve still owns the Bayside Motel.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #37
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Arrow The Tonimar / Great Escape

Story by Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
Scanned with permission from The Laker:
















Many thanks to for allowing me to post this great article!

(Sorry for the variation in the type due to scanning. Please advise if this is a problem and I will fix it when I have time. Thanks!)
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #38
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Default Tonimar Mail Boat

We at the Alton Historical Society had a program last year on the Tonimar that was done by Paul Richardson of Alton. He worked on the Tonimar with Capt Beck I believe in the early 1950's. The program was taped and is available to check out of the Alton library. Also, the Weirs Times had a great article on the history of the Tonimar in their January 13, 1994 issue by Linda C Largey based on information by the late Captain Beck of Alton Bay and from Florence Allsop of Bayhead, NJ, daughter of the original boat builder Hubert S Johnson, built in Bayhead, NJ, in 1926, a 43 footer.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:50 PM   #39
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Default Re naming a boat

Is it or is it NOT bad luck to rename a boat. I have heard both sides of that tale... Just curious
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #40
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Arrow IMO, Luck is What You Make of it!

Just to be safe, follow these guidelines from Boat Safe:

Renaming Your Boat

I truly believe that you make your own luck. Believe in bad luck and it will come true. Don't give it the power over you.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #41
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Talking Alton History

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spit'n Image Farm View Post
We at the Alton Historical Society had a program last year on the Tonimar that was done by Paul Richardson of Alton. He worked on the Tonimar with Capt Beck I believe in the early 1950's. The program was taped and is available to check out of the Alton library. Also, the Weirs Times had a great article on the history of the Tonimar in their January 13, 1994 issue by Linda C Largey based on information by the late Captain Beck of Alton Bay and from Florence Allsop of Bayhead, NJ, daughter of the original boat builder Hubert S Johnson, built in Bayhead, NJ, in 1926, a 43 footer.
I need to stop in for a library card!
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #42
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Cap Beck was neigbbor and a good friend of our family when I was growimg up. He was one the last of a dying breed. A true yankee thru and thru. He could tell stories about the lake and Alton Bay all day long. They don't make em like that any more!
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