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Old 05-01-2005, 12:39 PM   #1
mcdude
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Default Victoria Pier - Alton Bay

A BRIEF PICTURE OF THE PAST

“At one time it was just a plain dock next to a sandy beach on a pristine lake, with a few houses dotted along the clean shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Now a bustling restaurant where tourists and sightseers can stop to quench their thirst and grab a bite to eat while sitting over Alton Bay and watching the boaters.
Yes, that’s how it all started with the construction of one small dock around 1910 on the west shore of Alton Bay. The railroad brought tourists, who got off right down the strett, into Alton Bay. Then they might stay for the night at the Lake Winnipesaukee House.

Winnipiseogee House Stereo View - 1877
After, when they woke up in the morning, they would walk down along the railroad to John Card’s Landing, “Smoker’s Retreat”, where they could rent a rowboat for the day or if they wanted, buy one made by John himself. John’s dock soon turned into a small one room building where he built the boats himself.

In the mid-1920s, George Lynch, former 1898 Alton graduate, bought the building from John Card and tore down the small shack but rebuilt a much bigger building named Victoria Pier. At this time the railroad claimed ownership of the land so George was forced to lease the land from them. George decided to make Victoria Pier into a small gift and coffee shop with a marble ice cream bar. George also added a dock for the same rowboats that John Card had built to be rented out to tourists. He also put in one gas tank and sold Socony gas to both the cars and the boats. George then decided to have the local postmaster and painter, Bob Rollins, paint the rowboats yellow and orange to match the Socony Gas logo. George also staffed the ice cream bar with a young woman named Madeline G. Adams who was hired in the late 1930s. Madeline and George served hot coffee to the tourists and Altonians who came down to the Bay to view the lake on the pier’s open porch. Then, when the railroad stopped running in 1936, the “Railroad Square” land was sold to the town.

In 1946 Allbrick Ouellette, “Al”, bought Victoria Pier from George Lynch with a dream of selling boat rides on his 36-foot runabout named “The 75 Special”. He also sold tickets for the Lake Winnipesaukee U.S. Mailboat “Tonimar”. Fares for a ride on the mailboat cost $1.50 for adults and $1.00 for children under twelve years old for a ten mile ride. During this time, Victoria Pier served meals to various people such as; Guy Lombardo, The Dorsey Brothers, Joe Penny and other musicians and bands who played at the Alton Bay Pavillion.

Allbrick was going to sell Victoria Pier to two of his employees; Madeline Adams and Eddie Nevel, but ended up selling it to Madeline alone and in the year of 1952 Madeline Adams purchased the building. Madeline kept the name and the function of the Pier as a restaurant and gift shop through the 1960s until 1979.

On May 24, 1979, Madeline Adams sold Victoria Pier to Arthur and Dorothy Cornelissen for a price of $60,000. Then Athur and Dorothy decided to close in the open porch and put windows all the way around the building. Through this time Victoria Pier changed its’ purpose several times. Starting as a gift and coffee shop, it was made into a bakery, then changed to being a small arcade, and and ending in 1984 as a Century 21 Real Estate Office. That same year on June 2, 1984, Arthur Cornelissen died.

Then on August 29, 1985 Dorothy sold the Pier to Gary J. Jenisch and Martha Carole Dwyer. Gary and Martha changed Victoria Pier back into a restaurant and kept it as such until 1989. On March 23, 1989, Martha and Gary sold the Pier to William F. Bunker as a restaurant. William left the building the same and didn’t change the function of being a seasonal restaurant until 1993.

On September 23, 1993 William Bunker sold Victoria Pier to Arnold and David Shibley who changed the name from Victoria Pier to Shibley’s at the Pier the next Spring. The Shibley’s have done some internal renovations to the Pier but the building itself still remains the same as it was in the early 1900s and it has been and is currently a restaurant.

All the way from that one person dock built by John Card himself in the early 1900s to a busy restaurant almost one hundred years later, Victoria Pier / Shibley’s at the Pier has been a part of Alton’s history. The Pier has seen many changes in Alton as it went through time but it still stands, held up by the same boards laid by George Lynch with the same dock that Allbrick Ouellette once used to sell rides on his 36 foot boat “the 75 Special”. The Pier is a window facing back in time throughout Alton’s history.”
“Winnipiseogee Heritage” - A project of the Alton U.S. History Class - 12-7-2000 - David Shibley.


A photo of the Old Mount from Victoria Pier and possibly a John Card rowboat.

Old Postcard

Last edited by mcdude; 10-28-2005 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 05-01-2005, 04:10 PM   #2
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Default Great Story

Nice work, McDude. I really enjoyed the history and the pictures. Pretty soon you will be doing speaking engagements on Winnipesaukee history!
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:39 PM   #3
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Default Great Job

McDude,

As usual you did a great job!

Thanks for the post on history of the "Pier". I have many memories of visiting there in my youth and into the 70's. In the 70's I can remember going down very early in the morning from The Bay Side Motel (now Bay Side Inn) to get a morning coffee and paper. It was great to have a store you could get to by boat. You can still do that at the Owl's Nest today.

Here is a link to a post card I posted from the early 60's of Victoria Pier. You can see they sold Gulf Gas then. (sign in lower right of card). Also note the covered area to the right of the gas sign.
http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...cat=500&page=3
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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Default Nice work, again!

It brings back a memory! Back in the early 60's my grandfather picked up a Scott Atwater 10HP outboard that ran great in a garbage can at home. My dad rented a row boat at Victoria Pier and we set out for Sandy Point. Near where the boat ramp is located we stopped forward progress but the motor was still running. Dad tilted the motor out of the water and to his and our suprise the gear case had broken off. That was the end of our boating.

We got home and we got a NEW (left over) 1963 Evinrude 10HP That was a fun little motor.

If some one wants to dive the area there is a old prop on the bottom.

I also saw a car and trailer that had backed down the ramp and was completely under water.
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Old 05-27-2005, 06:35 PM   #5
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Default Victoria Pier?

Isn't that first picture really of the Alton Bay Inn? That couldn't be a precursor to Victoria's Pier.

I remember Victoria's Pier as a soda fountain. Only been in it once since it became a restaurant - the one before Shibley's took over.

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Old 05-28-2005, 09:13 AM   #6
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Hi Jersey Girl: that first image absolutely is the Alton Bay Inn or what it used to look like when it was the Winnipiseogee House ....before the fire. Since the article referenced the Winnipesaukee House, I stuck in a photo of the place that just happened to be laying around!
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Old 05-31-2005, 05:28 PM   #7
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Ah, got it now. Should have paid better attention. Your research skills are top-notch, by the way.

In the last couple of years, I have won a few auctions of Winnipesaukee memorabilia on Ebay. The two best are quite old with B&W photographs of the Lakes Region. I thought it would be fun to try to find the point of view of the photographer, but so much has changed that I know I never would. At least I could identify the Inn, though.

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Old 06-05-2006, 04:57 PM   #8
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A pre-1939 photo of Victoria Pier showing the Old Mt. Washington in the distance.





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Old 01-25-2008, 07:33 AM   #9
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From the Baysider
Quote:
Shibley's lease will go to Alton voters
Selectmen approve one-year temporary lease
January 24, 2008
ALTON Shibley's at the Pier will be able to continue serving customers at its location on Alton Bay for at least another year, after the board of selectmen voted Monday night to renew the restaurant's lease.

While proprietors David and Amy Shibley own the restaurant itself, the land on which the building sits is owned by the town, which voted in 1992 to lease it to them for a period of 15 years.

The original lease officially came to an end on Dec. 31, but the selectmen voted at that point to extend it for another month in order to finalize negotiations with the Shibleys.

Board Chairman Alan Sherwood explained Monday night that during the 15 years since the original lease was signed, state law changed to grant voters the authority to ratify lease agreements for periods longer than one year.

With that in mind, Sherwood said, the selectmen negotiated a new seven-year lease with the Shibleys, but also opted to sign a temporary one-year lease in the event that voters choose not to approve the longer lease at the polls in March.

The new lease agreement, which was developed with the assistance of both a professional appraiser and Selectman Bill Curtin, who has extensive experience in the real estate field, states that the Shibley's will pay the town $7,087 the first year.

According to the terms of the lease, that figure will increase by 5 percent annually for the remaining six years.

Most of the terms of the new agreement were carried over from the old lease, Sherwood said, including a provision stating that in addition to the annual fee, the Shibleys will also be responsible for paying all property taxes assessed to both the land and the building.

One new addition to the lease agreement, however, was a sketch of the building and the land around it, which was never included in the original lease.

"We all think this is a fair resolution to the issue," Sherwood said, adding that the one-year lease agreement will become null and void if voters pass the seven-year lease.

Copies of both the one-year and seven-year lease agreements are available for public viewing at the Town Clerk's office.

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Old 11-03-2008, 08:49 PM   #10
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Allbrick Ouellette built and owned Sandy point and the Ouellette family still owns and runs Sandy Point today.
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:09 AM   #11
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Default Modern day Alton story

Thanks for your post McDude a while back on this part of the lake-huge history of course. The latest post got me thinking about that strip of shoreline again and reminded me of something that I found there-not historical in the strictest sense but interesting to me nonetheless-if not for McDude I would not have dived where I did this day.

Because of McDudes' ability to produce (really) remarkable historical information about so much of the lake-based on his postings I decided late in November 2007 while passing through Alton on my way home to Exeter, to do a quick shore dive off the docks there.

I swam up and down the shore, first from the docks to the bridge, then back past them towards the Mounts' dock. Offshore about 30 feet in about 30 feet of water, I came across a womans' pocketbook-loaded down with rocks. Taking out the rocks, I stuffed the pocketbook into my mesh bag and continued the dive, knowing better than to open it under water. During that dive I also came back with a clean set of chrome sockets and wrenches in the blue plastic box they were packaged in, and a nice, new, aluminum telescopic boat hook. Sweet.

Back on shore I opened up the pocketbook and found the whole deal-license, BC/BS card, bank card, credit cards, registration, coins, $11 in cash in a purse and more.

Back home I traced the woman to Barrington, called her and told her I had her belongings. She was dumbfounded.

The story: She was a single Mom working a 2nd job doing a DJ gig on the shore that night (right there) about 1 year earlier; She was paid about $300 in cash that night, which she placed in one of those small dollar-sized envelopes banks give you, which she then placed into her pocketbook. She left the gig when it was done with a friend of hers who-unfortunately-was with some dirtbag who had recently been released from prison. Walking out to her car with her friend and the dirt-bag (details foggy to me) she unlocked her car, placed her pocketbook in her car, then left them for a moment, then returned to her car alone, and realized her pocketbook was gone. She went home empty- handed.

I mailed her the pocketbook in its entirety-including the $11.00 but minus the white bank envelope with the $300 because of course it wasn't there. Whoever ripped her off went in and out of her car fast-taking whatever was on top in the pocketbook-then finding stones to weight it down with and tossed it into the lake-thinking it was gone-wrong.

She wrote me a wonderful note thanking me for my efforts-boy what a nice feeling. As I said, not directly related to any history of Winni, but had it not been for McDudes postings about Alton I would not have stopped there for a quickie-dive.

As for throwing things away into water, I recovered a 44 Magnum with an 8" barrel in a "nearby" body of water in September at the request of a local PD-so my team and I went looking for it; Photo attached-not Winni but close enough.

What fun.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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Default Another modern day Alton story - $$$ in the lake

Diver1111,

Your story reminded me of another great finding in Alton Bay. Someone asked 2 guys I know to dive for a lost brass boat lamp just north of Light #23 near Sandy Point. One of them found a men's wallet in the silty bottom and brought it back to shore. The wallet contained money, license, etc. for someone from Mass. and based on the license date it had been there for a few years. The diver called this gentleman who hung up on him. He called again, said it wasn't a hoax and mentioned that there was a half of a $1 bill in the wallet. This kept the man on the line who told the diver that he had lost the wallet out of his back pocket while sitting on the side of his friend's boat. Over the years many of his buddies made prank calls pretending that they had found the wallet and he thought this was another prankster. When he heard about the 1/2 $1 bill, he then knew my friend was not trying to pull his leg. He explained that he and his wife had cut a $1 bill and each carried a half. His wife passed away shortly after he lost his wallet and he still kept the half she had carried. Now he had his half back as well as the money that had been in the wallet. I seem to remember it was quite a large amount and since it had been in the water so long it had to be separated carefully with tweezers. The story of this discovery was carried on CNN and featured the young hero.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:09 PM   #13
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Default 1/2 dollar bill story

Wow-great story! Remarkable-especially in light of the emotional attachment to the dollar bill. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:10 AM   #14
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Default $$$ in Alton Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver1111 View Post
Wow-great story! Remarkable-especially in light of the emotional attachment to the dollar bill. Thanks.
As I recall, the owner of the wallet did get very emotional -- not so much for the money, but for that half $1 bill. I should also add that the young hero was a grandson of Alberic Ouellette Sr. who owned Sandy Point and built most of the cottages during the 1940's. His son, the late Alberic (Bric) Jr. told us many interesting stories over the years of how he helped his Dad building the cottages. Ours is 1946 vintage.

Last edited by ghfromaltonbay; 11-05-2008 at 10:14 AM. Reason: added sentence
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