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Old 09-29-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
Diver1111
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Default Lees Mills wreck on shore

I took this photo while cruising through the Lees Mills area; Long, interesting wreck of what I guess would be a good sized steamer, or perhaps a barge-I just can't tell until I dive it and/or land on it and crawl around.

Water at this time I think was low because I've cruised through Lees Mills before and as I recall the water was higher in the past because I would have seen this -although it could be missed due to its position in the area-not something folks would see unless they were facing it or looking for it. I was looking for it.

I believe there might have also been a rail line in this basin at one time.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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Where is this located exactly? Looks to me like it might be a good spot for some pickerel fishing! Interesting findings, again!
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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Default Lee's Mills wreck

There is a possiblity that this is the remains of the Moultonborough. She was a steam powered tug/workboat that was supposedly towed to Lee's Mills and left, after having her machinery removed. She was good sized vessel, probably 50 -60 feet in length, with a straight stem and a squared off stern. There are pictures of her in Edward Blackstone's Mt. Washington book, I believe.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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Default washed ashore derelicts

You guys have a better eye than I. It looks like an upside down dock to me. Guess that's why I'll never get rich in the antique arena.
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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Default Less Mills - logging center

I read with great interest the book "As I remember Moultonboro" by Frances George Stevens, in which she explained that the entire little bay in front of Lees Mills was filled to the brim with floating logs during the heyday of logging and milling at Lees Mills, and there were railroad tracks around perimeter of bay (as you look out from Lees Mills, to the left) which were part of the logging operation. You can still see some of the tracks under water. David Thompson - of the Steamboat Rally fame - would very likely know what you saw: barge/steamboat/railroad tracks/dock.

As a point of interest, author Frances George Stevens is the aunt of David Thompson. She is the sister of David's late mother, Jesse George Thompson, and Jesse was a former postmistress in Moultonboro and a good friend of mine, even though she was the same age as my mother. The Georges/Thompsons/Stevens are long-time Moultonboro families, as well as long-time steamboat families and David probably knows every square inch of the area in and around Lees Mill.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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Default Location of the wreck on the shore

If you were standing on the Lees Mill dock looking out-southward-it is at 10 o'clock to your left.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:38 PM   #7
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Default Location

Yes... that is the location. I think your photo may be what we always thought were the remains of the railroad tracks, but they were submerged in murky water and we were unable to get a clear view of them; however, with the low water level you may well have captured them. On the other hand, this may be something altogether different!
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:36 PM   #8
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Hey guys...

I've snorkeled on that area before, and there seems to be a submerged platform just below the water level as a permanent structure and not a boat. It was kind of eerie to stumble upon that unexpectedly and it seemed to be a very large structure...or at least it was at one time.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:42 PM   #9
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Smile Could Tallyho Be Right?

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Originally Posted by Tallyho View Post
There is a possibility that this is the remains of the Moultonborough. She was a steam powered tug/workboat that was supposedly towed to Lee's Mills and left, after having her machinery removed. She was good sized vessel, probably 50 -60 feet in length, with a straight stem and a squared off stern. There are pictures of her in Edward Blackstone's Mt. Washington book, I believe.
Good memory Tallyho. Great book.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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Default Photos

Wow RG-those pictures are amazing-thank you; Clear shots of the vessels-where did you find them?

They roughly match the length of the wreck on the shore I posted. I bet one of them is it.

Great stuff.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #11
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Arrow Farewell Old Mount Washington

Tallyho is the one who knew where to look. The pictures are from Farewell Old Mount Washington by Edward H. Blackstone. The story of the steamboat era on Lake Winnipesaukee. A great read! I was lucky enough to find a hardcover copy, which I love.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:50 PM   #12
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The wreck you saw is the remains of a work barge that Will Raymond used to use in construction on the lake many years ago. It is mentioned in Frances Stevens book. I think it was being modified and it broke up and was abandoned on the shore there.The railroad tracks mentioned are just to the right of the barge. Basically there are wooden beams, tracks and a couple of old railroad wheel carriages that were used to pull the barge, out of the water. They are submerged but you can see them if you look carefully My boys and I call the old barge the Bones.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:03 PM   #13
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Also as far as the old steamboats I had talked to Dave Thompson and he said that they were broken up and removed in the 50s by the town
after a hurricane had destroyed several buildings at the Lees mill landing. I remember him saying that the hull of one of the boats was still sound as it was made of cypress and he had hopes of one day salvaging it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:30 PM   #14
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Delighted that you were able to speak with Dave Thompson and clarify the various scenarios. We kayak in that area frequently and have always thought that we were looking at the remains of old railroad tracks, and now we know that is the case (among the work barge remains)! Nice to have your complete information.... many, many thanks! As I said earlier, Dave Thompson knows every square inch of that area and his knowledge of the history of steamboats (and specific steamboats) is second to none!
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemlock View Post
The wreck you saw is the remains of a work barge that Will Raymond used to use in construction on the lake many years ago. It is mentioned in Frances Stevens book. I think it was being modified and it broke up and was abandoned on the shore there.The railroad tracks mentioned are just to the right of the barge. Basically there are wooden beams, tracks and a couple of old railroad wheel carriages that were used to pull the barge, out of the water. They are submerged but you can see them if you look carefully My boys and I call the old barge the Bones.
I suspect the railroad rails and ties might have been fastened to the deck of the barge and were used to transport Rail Cars across the lake. In the old days, wealthy people did their travelling in their own Private rail cars....sort of like todays Large motor homes. NB
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:50 AM   #16
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Default Wreckage at Lee's Mill

I grew up here with a 14' Mirrocraft and a 10 Johnson. I know every inch of the bay. What you are looking at in these pix is the wreckage of the hurricane of 38. The large wall is a part of a building that once was at the landing. The main part of town stood here prior to the storm. Bob Lamprey of Lamprey and Lamprey real estate had pictures hanging in his lobby when I was a boy that showed the village at Lee's Mill. There were tracks that descended down from the mountain when I was a boy in the 70's. They disappeared in the 80's. Probably scrappers. There are still tracks on trusses with a rail car still in the water near the shore and are very visible during mid-summer when water levels are lower. There are many steam boats out in the bay, some of them still tied to docks wrecked during the storm. In the 70's before the milfoil took over many were still visible on a sunny day.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:05 PM   #17
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It would be nice to get a definitive answer to this. To my eyes, it looks like a boardwalk type of dock or the railway that Diver was talking about. It's very long for a barge. But, I suppose if the barge hauled logs, it needed to be massive.
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