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Old 09-19-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
mcdude
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Default 20 things you may not know about Lake Winnipesaukee's Mailboat

From the WMUR website (slideshow)

http://www.wmur.com/news/20-things-y...z/-/index.html



look carefully and you'll see Weirs Beach Boater!


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Old 09-19-2013, 02:19 PM   #2
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WeirsBeachBoater is in slide 17 & 18!
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
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WeirsBeachBoater is in slide 17 & 18!
So, THAT'S the guy who makes the big wake!!!
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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Talking Things You May Not Know...

There was at least a couple things that whomever put the captions together, didn't know! A railroad car? Uh, no. Sophie was not a Navy supply ship. The General, who a short while later became the Doris E, was built to be a service boat for their company. I suspect they got their history about the Navy because that is who took the Mount's engines and boilers.

Old photos were used... Our very own Weirs Beach Boater, the skipper in two of the photos, left the company at the end of last season.

According to WBB, Santa was at Camp Lawrence.

On the site Honoring Byron Carl Hedblom, this is how they describe Sophie:
We were being pushed at the end of WWII in 1945 by the New Hampshire Utilities Commission as to when we would resume operations by the Mount Washington. We answered, as soon as engines could be obtained. (The Mount's engines and boilers had been taken by the Navy for the war effort.)

We decided to build a 65-foot boat to run short excursions from Weirs to Wolfeboro, until the Mount Washington was running. I designed a vessel to carry about 150 passengers. We had a General Motors Diesel engine, which we could convert from Electric Generation to Direct Reversing Mode. We also had steelworkers available for the job.

We built the hull in the Mead Morrison shop, installed the engine and trucked it to NH where we finished it. We installed the superstructure in New Hampshire, launched the boat fully completed and named it "Sophie C" in memory of my mother.


The Sophie C. was Christened by Byron Hedblom's eldest daughter Dory Ann Hedblom and named for his mother, Sophie C. Hedblom.

We had a trial trip on VJ Day in 1945. It was successful and it went into service immediately. At the same time, we built a 45-foot service boat to carry men and materials to ships away from our plant. The boat was called "The General". After it was completed and tried out, my father said to send it up to Lake Winnipesaukee it's too nice to use as a service boat. We all made very good use of it. We were also sponsoring a Little League Baseball team. Our foreman electrician took care of the running of this operation and did very well."


Sophie C at the dock in the Weirs


Clockwise from top Left: Byron Hedblom, Carl Hedblom,
June Sophie Hedblom, Sophie Caroline Hedblom,
and Ruth Caroline Hedblom
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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Great stuff as usual from McD and RG.Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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Question Mail Boats

They stated that Sophie C was the fifth mail boat. Robert and Arthur, Dolphin, Uncle Sam and Uncle Sam II.

They forgot the Marshall Foch, which was used in 1932 & 1933 (dismantled in 1941) and The Tonimar was brought to the lake in 1940, delivering mail from 1941 - 1965. I believe that Uncle Sam II Came to the lake in 1962.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:32 AM   #7
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Default Dolphin

...and here's an image of the Dolphin

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Old 09-20-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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I am in slide 9, light green shirt.

Great pictures!
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:21 PM   #9
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How about the Tonimar / Capt. Lawerence Beck out of Alton Bay.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:28 PM   #10
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Lots of info and pics of the Tonimar here..... http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...hlight=tonimar

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Old 07-22-2016, 09:02 PM   #11
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Thanks for the refresher Mcdude. Is the great escape still on the lake ? Haven't seen it for a few years.
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:51 AM   #12
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Default Great Escaoe

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootbay View Post
Thanks for the refresher Mcdude. Is the great escape still on the lake ? Haven't seen it for a few years.
It's at Irwin Marine. Here's a photo I took a few weeks ago.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:35 AM   #13
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What a fascinating thread! Thanks to mcdude for posting it!

I have to admit to being a little conflicted about the WMUR piece. As with much of what comes from that source, the article is more "crafted" than factual, with many of it's "facts" resting on semantics. I only say this as one who grew up in, on, and beside the waters of Lake Huron.

J. W. Prescott been providing mail service to ships on the Great Lakes continuously since 1874; according to the referenced article that's 12 years prior to the start of the Winnipesaukee service. Watching the mail boat bobbing along beside those massive lake freighters is one of my cherished childhood memories. Today the 45-foot J. W. Prescott II is reportedly the only floating post office with its own ZIP code (48222).

Then again, much depends on what one calls a "post office". Certainly there are currently any number of contractor carriers who deliver mail by boat but the article seems to imply that the Sophie C. provides a much wider array of post office services than just delivery.

Regardless, this thread has provided a captivating look into the rich history of the Lakes Region and I look forward to learning still more.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:39 AM   #14
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Default Me First

In previous years, we did our boating on the inland rivers of the eastern part of the United States, mainly on the Ohio River. We would frequently see the Delta Queen, a stern-paddle river boat. Since she had a post office on board, she was allowed to pass through the many locks on this river ahead of all commercial traffic. One of our previous boats was trucked up from Madison, Indiana to spend many years on Lake Winnipesaukee carrying us out to East Bear Island. 🐻
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
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It's at Irwin Marine. Here's a photo I took a few weeks ago.
Nice ! Thanks
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:34 PM   #16
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Default Great Escape

The Great Escape was at the Wolfeboro Town docks a couple of weeks ago. This beautifully restored, classic cruiser, lends grace and charm to any location it visits. It is always nice to her at dockside.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:25 PM   #17
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This beautiful boat, Great Escape, is a frequent visitor at the Annual Boat Show in Meredith, usually held on the last Saturday in July.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:32 AM   #18
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Default How many ?

So, Marshal Foch, Dolphin, Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam II and Sophie C all followed basically the same route and were designated post offices. I recall that Ed Lavallee had a 36' steel cabin cruiser in between the Uncle Sams that he ran for a couple of years to keep the USPS franchise active until the PT boat was activated. Can't remember the name.

I believe the Tonimar delivered mail but was not a "post office". Same applies to the Gray Ghost, run by Sandy MacKenzie to deliver mail, operating out of Wolfeboro. It looks to me like Robert & Arthur, and Columbia preceded the Tonimar on the Wolfeboro mail delivery route. I also saw reference to a "Blue Ghost". Hard to tell if that was a separate boat the preceded the Gray Ghost or just a name misrecollection from the author of a blog post.

In the early days and on into the 1950's islanders did not all have their own power boats. They relied on the mail boats and taxi boats to bring some freight, mail and passengers. Of course, they rowed or sailed, but power boats really made island living possible for many more people.
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:41 PM   #19
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:05 PM   #20
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Sure must be a real ghost - as she seems to be hiding now!!! 👻
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:21 AM   #21
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Default Doris E.

So the Doris E. was never used to deliver mail?
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:50 AM   #22
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correct !


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