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Old 10-12-2004, 08:48 AM   #1
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Smile Excerpt from Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee and Other Historical Stuff

Excerpt from Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee
by Paul H. Blaisdell
Originally published by the author in 1936
Second Edition, 1975


Mount Washington Run Aground



It was a Thursday morning early in the season of 1910 when the “Mount” was delayed leaving Center Harbor by a heavy fog rolling across the lake. After some wait the mist began to lift and when there was fair visibility for a half a mile, Captain Blackstone gave orders to sail, proceeding out of Center Harbor with caution. As the boat swung around on a stern line to head out from a dock, the captain satisfied himself that all was well on deck and then went aft to the engine-room as he usually did when leaving the harbor. Arriving there he noticed that the engineer had been given a full speed ahead indication, and believing that the fog had lifted completely to warrant this signal the captain went forward to climb the “cat walk” ladder to the upper deck and pilot house. Once on the lower deck he noticed that the fog had shut down again all around the boat, and that there was scarcely visibility to the bow. Captain Blackstone started for the pilot house to signal the engine room for a stop, and had succeeded in ringing the bells for stopping and reversing the engine and having these signals answered, when the “Mount” struck the ledges at Mile Island, lifting her bow out of the water and sliding her upon the sloping granite shelf to a point a little forward of amidships.

It was soon determined that no damage had been done to the hull, and, as the side-wheels were still in the water, a few attempts were made to back the boat off under her own power, but without success. Meanwhile the fog lifted again, and when nearby residents saw the plight of the boat, they immediately put out in small craft to lend assistance. All the passengers were removed and returned to Center Harbor, and word of the accident was sent to the Boston and Maine Railroad offices in Boston.

That evening a wrecker and crew were dispatched to The Weirs, and on the following morning, with two barges and much equipment, they arrived at Mile Island and began work. Throughout the day, Friday, they labored without the desired results. The hull was secure on its rocky base. Meanwhile the “Mounts” competitors had not been idle, and by Friday afternoon posters and handbills began to be seen around the lake advertising:

Grand Sunday Excursion
To
Center Harbor
See the Wreck of the Steamer
Mount Washington

Throughout Saturday morning the fruitless efforts continued until, in the early afternoon, at the insistence of Captain Blackstone, the two barges were moved into place on each side of the boat at the stern. A huge timber was passed across the steamer’s deck, with chains attached at each end. The chain was submerged and brought into place under the keel. Jacks were then used to lift on the timber, and the stern was slowly raised to bring the vessel to a more nearly level position, but not enough to lift the side-wheels from the water. This eased the hull at the bow, and with a few turns of the engine the “Mount” backed away from the ledge. Not a single plank had been damaged by the accident. Needless to say the prospective Sunday excursionists were disappointed, for the “Mount Washington” resumed her schedule on that day.

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Old 10-12-2004, 10:50 AM   #2
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Default Governor Endicott



Governor Endicott
Excerpt from Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee

Another narrow escape was when the excursion boat “Red Hill” had a boiler explosion just as passengers were leaving the craft at Lee’s Mills; and only a few years ago I remember the anxiety when the “Governor Endicott” left Lake Shore Park with a capacity crowd late one foggy night bound for the Weirs and after several hours no one had seen or heard anything of the boat. Of course the alarmists were ready to believe that Witch Rocks had, at last, taken their toll. Boatmen, however, understanding that Leander Lavallee was captain, refused to believe that he would be anything but extremely cautious, and if he could not pass the Witches, they vowed he would drop anchor and wait for the fog to lift. Such was the case; and as there was a small orchestra on board, the young people, of whom the party was mainly comprised, danced and sang the whole night through, exhausted the ship’s larder, and never complained at their fate. About 7:30 the next morning the “Governor” whistled into Weirs.

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Old 10-13-2004, 11:30 AM   #3
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Really great photos and articles RG.Thanks.Where do you find all this great stuff? SS
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Old 10-13-2004, 04:01 PM   #4
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Really great photos and articles RG.Thanks.Where do you find all this great stuff? SS
My pleasure. History of the lake should be shared and I am enjoying it. There are so many wonderful stories and pictures I am having a hard time pacing myself. I’ll try to be good.
A while back Dave R brought this book to my attention on the forum. It is called Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee, by Paul H. Blaisdell. I was lucky enough to find a copy. It was first published in 1936, and then republished in 1975. I suspect that the author is no longer with us and I cannot find any information on the publisher either.
I also found another interesting book, Winnipesaukee Whoppers, Fabulous Legends of the Lake Once Called Winnipiseogee by Elizabeth Crawford Wilkin. This one was published in 1949 and again in 1960. It has a different spin on The Witches and a couple ideas of how Barn Door Island got its name. A slightly different telling of Becky’s Garden as well as a crazy tale of the Barber Pole.
Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee is definitely better and when I run out of stuff for that, I will work on the Whoppers. It will definitely keep me busy over the winter and keep my mind off pining to be at the camp.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:16 AM   #5
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Default The Dover & Chocorua

Here are bits and pieces from the book regarding the history of the “Dover” & “Chocorua”

The “Dover” was built in 1851, and was of a construction type peculiar to those days. Instead of having the decks and upper portion of the boat derive support solely from truss-like structures and ribbing build up from the keel, this craft had a “hog-frame,” so-called from its hog-back shape, which gave support from above as well as below. The two arched frames, sweeping from bow to stern above decks, gave this type of boat an unusual appearance. It is said that on March 20, 1851, every stick of timber and plank of which the hull was constructed was standing in the forest; yet she made her maiden voyage only seventeen months later on August 18, 1852, running between Alton Bay, Wolfeboro, Long Island, Center Harbor and Meredith.
The “Dover, “ not proving large enough for the growing number of passengers, was rebuilt, with some length added, and was renamed the “Chocorua.” On a Sunday morning in August 1866, having been tied up at the Meredith wharf overnight, she was discovered with her stern resting on the lake bottom. It is believed that some member of the crew left a cap off one of the intake tubes, and she filled with water during the night. A diver was summoned from Boston, necessary underwater repairs were made; and with the Meredith town hand-tub, borrowed from the fire department, the boat was pumped out and raised to the surface, to resume operations for the remainder of the season.
With the coming of the “Mount Washington” the “Chocorua” was retired from service and used only for special parties, being finally dismantled in 1875, in a cove just back of the steamboat landing at Alton Bay, where a small part of her remains may still be found.


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Old 10-14-2004, 01:14 PM   #6
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Question How many cruise ships

I find it interesting that back in the days when travel was a big deal, there was enough traffic for "cruise ships" to operate on Winni. The excerpts above mention 4 ships over a period of time and it sounds like there were competing ships in some time periods. Does anyone have a list of what vessels operated (for excursions) on Winni and when ? I wonder how many people went in a given year and how it compares to the Mount traffic today ...

I also find it amusing that the captains of yesteryear, w/o today's modern nav gear, could screw up just like the rest of us. Or barring that, be cautious enough to stop and wait. Food for thought on that dark foggy night when your GPS dies ....
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Old 10-14-2004, 02:28 PM   #7
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Default Gundalows

Our chronicle now leaps through the years. It is 1768, and New Hampshire’s colonial governor, John Wentworth, has completed a province road from Portsmouth to Wolfeboro, where he is to establish his summer home, become the Winnipesaukee lakes region’s first summer resident, and give Wolfeboro just claim to the distinction of being the first summer resort in America. The Wentworth mansion did not sit on Winnipesaukee’s shores. It was much nearer the fine lake now known as Wentworth, but Winnipesaukee was known to these colonial visitors who embarked on its waters in some type of craft.

Events such as these brought forward the growth of settlements around the lake, Alton Bay having been the first in 1710, and with them came bark canoes and dug-outs, hollowed from huge tree trunks, for travel on the waters. With the growth of the little villages came navigation of Winnipesaukee as a natural means of commercial intercourse. The first recorded type of craft in these times was a peculiar model of sailing vessel. Incidentally, sails went out of favor on Winnipesaukee with the passing of these craft, and have only now begun to return to grace in the pleasure boat field.

These early sailboats were called “gundalows.” In retrospective mood one can believe, from factual information available as to their appearance that these craft were as picturesque as anything that has ever been navigated on the lake. It is established that “gundalows” were flat-bottomed, and frequently planked with hewn timbers to insure safety in case the craft were accidentally run on the rocks. Not a few were round at both bow and stern, an unusual piece of construction for the times, achieved by fastening blocks of timber together with wooden pins, then hewing the bow and stern to the shape desired. There was generally a stout railing around the sides; and it is said that these boats were among the safest ever operated, with no record of one being lost by accident, and no person drowned or injured who was in any way connected with their service. Motive power was from one, and sometimes two, sails. A few boasted a jib. All had two long oars, or “sweeps” as they were called, located generally at the stern of the boat. These were used for steering, and in calm weather a procedure resembling sculling was resorted to for propulsion. Either method was slow, and a twenty-five or thirty-mile trip often required two or three days. In an unusually good wind a speed of six or eight miles and hour was attained. The ‘sweeps,” resembling as they do the propelling implement of the gondola, may account for the unusual name of these boats.

One of the largest gundalows on Winnipesaukee was built by Nathaniel Shannon of Moultonboro. It was sixty or sixty-five feet long, and was used for transporting “boards, flour, fish, molasses, shook and bales of cotton to the mills of Lake Village.” Almost every trip also saw a supply of New England rum on board.

All gundalows carried merchandise between Alton Bay, Meredith, and Lake Village. Observe here the marked influence the early roads had on Winnipesaukee navigation, in influence that was to continue until the thousands of summer visitors to the lake region came, for the most part, in their own automobiles over a modern system of state highways. I have already indicated Wentworth’s road from Portsmouth to Wolfeboro. Other similar roads extended from the seacoast towns to the interior. Thus, supplies for the Winnipesaukee region first came to Alton Bay by team or stage. Likewise, first commercial passengers on the lake generally embarked at that point. Gundalows did not advertise to carry passengers, but did a limited business at 50 cents for a first class passage on the deck of the boat. There was but one rule for passengers, and a promise to obey it was required as a boarding credential. No interference with the crew!

Gundalows characteristically had two captains, one who officiated on one way of the trip while the other took command on the return. Friendly rivalry prevailed between the captains, in matters of time required for the journey and the ability to direct the entire course of the boat through any contingencies which might arise without asking help from the captain who was off duty.

These craft were doubtless picturesque, but uncertainty of wind and weather, which necessitated resorting to laborious man-power, inevitably spelled their defeat.

Gundalow Company
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:23 PM   #8
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More great stuff RG.You refer to Lake Village in your post.Do you know what town or what part of the lake that would be? SS
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mee-n-Mac
The excerpts above mention 4 ships over a period of time and it sounds like there were competing ships in some time periods. Does anyone have a list of what vessels operated (for excursions) on Winni and when ?
There was fierce competition between the railroad companies, which owned the first steamboats.
I took a quick look through the book and these are the names that came up, not many dates, but it was only a quick look.

First Steamboat Fleet:
Belknap – 1834 - First passenger/freighter
Jenny Lind - may have actually been the first, but there is a lack of records
Cork Leg - later was renamed - Widow Dustin (Widder)

Other Steamers:
Long Island
Dolly Dutton
Mayflower
Naugutuck
Seneca
Ossipee
Winnipesaukee
Lady of the Lake - 1849
Dover - 1851
Chocorua - 1866
James Bell (Jim Bell)
Mount Washington - 1872
Nellie – the first propeller driven steamboat - 1875
Maid of the Isles – the second propeller driven steamboat - 1877
Minneola - 1877
Bell of the Wave - burned to the water 1884
Montclair
Lamprey
Daisy – a forthcoming story
Cyclone - 1886
Eagle - 1885
Carroll
Roxmont
Mohawk
Governor Endicott - 1905
Independence
Red Hill
Marshall Foch – Mail boat, later to become - Windermere first on water in 1898
Belle of the Isles
Dolphin
Uncle Sam - 1907
Gilnockie

Robert S. Fogg - the first flying boat for mail delivery - 1925
Robert & Arthur - mail boat - 1903

Tug type & Freight Steamers
Black Brook - which sunk at Lee’s Mills
Center Harbor – later became – Moultonboro
West Wind
Maud S. of South Wolfeboro
Gracie of Meredith
Undine of Lake Village
Laconia of Lake Village

Early pleasure boats will be saved for a later date.

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Old 10-14-2004, 04:00 PM   #10
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Default Lake Village

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Originally Posted by SIKSUKR
More great stuff RG.You refer to Lake Village in your post.Do you know what town or what part of the lake that would be? SS
Be careful, you're encouraging me!
Lake Village is Laconia.
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Old 10-14-2004, 04:33 PM   #11
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Default lady

any idea why the lady of the lake went down? great reading RG
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Old 10-14-2004, 05:39 PM   #12
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Default Lake Village - Lakeport - Laconia

SIKSUKR: Here's the long-winded answer..more than you ever wanted to know!

author: Huse, Warren D.: LAKEPORT, NH; Arcadia Tempus Publishing Group, Inc., 1999; Paperback in Fine condition (unread store shelf copy); Approximate Dimensions in inches: 6.5 x 9.25; 128 pp.

"Originally, the neighborhood now known as Lakeport was part of Meredith on one side of the Winnipesaukee River and of Gilmanton (Gilford after 1812) on the other. This manufacturing, commercial, and port settlement—once called Lake Village—became part of the city of Laconia in 1893. The area around today's Lakeport Dam became the site of sawmills and gristmills for the Euro-American settlers of the late 1760s. By the mid-1800s, textile and hosiery mills, factories, foundries, and machine shops had grown up around the abundant waterpower of the dam. With the coming of the railroad in 1848, Lake Village became an important railroad town—with repair shops, a roundhouse, and homes for scores of railroad workers.

Beginning in the mid-1800s, boat building—especially of lake steamers—was also an important industry. Just before joining with the town of Laconia to form today's city of Laconia, Lake Village renamed itself Lakeport. By then, the two communities had expanded toward each other, forming one continuous urban neighborhood."

Warren D. Huse, the author of Laconia and The Weirs, also compiles a weekly historical column for The Citizen of Laconia. He has gathered images from the archives of the Laconia Public Library, the Laconia Historical Society, the Laconia Museum Society, Inc., and private collections to create a volume that will earn a lasting place on the bookshelves of area homes as well as in the hearts of residents and visitors, young and old alike.

We have many titles of the Arcadia local photo-history series currently offered in other eBay auctions. Some of these books are out of print and we have only very limited quantities available (some just single copies). These fascinating well-researched and visually appealing books offer a rare window into the past and development of individual localities -- A great way to get a "sense of place" of your hometown!

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Old 10-14-2004, 05:51 PM   #13
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Default Lady of the Lake



The “Mount Washington” now did the lion’s share of the business; but the “Lady” was continued in service until September 14, 1893. On that date she made her final regular trip from Wolfeboro to The Weirs with a crew composed of John S. Wadleigh as Captain; A. P. Hughes, clerk; John M. Lovett, pilot; Lorenzo Lovett, engineer; J. Fred Lovett, fireman; James Wilkins and Frank Hubert, deck hands; James Hawkins, kitchen colonel; and H. C. Wentworth, cook. On September 19, mainly for reasons of sentiment, the “Lady made a short trip from the Weirs out into “The Broads”; and on her return, she was towed to Lakeport where she was dismantled, and her machinery removed. The hull, with decks and cabins nearly intact, was taken to Glendale in 1894, where it was tied up on the shore of the lake and used as a boarding house for workmen engaged in construction of the now famous Kimball’s Castle. When this work was completed, the hull was towed out into the middle of Glendale Bay, holes were bored below the water line and the “Lady” found her last resting place in 45 feet of water at that location. The figure head which adorned her prow, a lady with a paddle in hand, was removed and placed atop the boathouse of Col. Charles H. Cummings on Spindle Point’ but in recent years it was removed, and may now be seen at the old Historical Building on North Main Street in Concord where it is resplendent in gold and while as it was for the forty-five years of the “Lady’s” career on Winnipesaukee.

Glendale Bay is Smith’s Cove in Gilford.

On one of our trips through Concord, if the weather is nice, I will see if I can find the figure head.

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Old 10-14-2004, 07:31 PM   #14
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Default James Bell and the Brookline

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Old 10-15-2004, 09:29 AM   #15
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SIKSUKR: Here's the long-winded answer..more than you ever wanted to know!
Thanks so much Mcdude. You and RG could never give me enough info. I eat this stuff up! Keep it coming! SS
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by warren
any idea why the lady of the lake went down? great reading RG
warren
Kinda sad that they scuttled her. Anyone have any recent underwater photos of her? I'd love to see what she looks like today.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:02 AM   #17
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Thumbs up If that's the short list ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal
There was fierce competition between the railroad companies, which owned the first steamboats. I took a quick look through the book and these are the names that came up, not many dates, but it was only a quick look.

{snip}

Early pleasure boats will be saved for a later date.
Wow, that's a lot of commercial activity ! Busier 100-150 years ago than now.
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Old 10-19-2004, 10:53 AM   #18
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Talking The Steamer "Daisy"

It is impossible to look back at the closing years of the great railroad competition without some regret, for the thought of that colorful era brings the wish that more of those earlier boats were will in service. Then, too, retrospect makes evident the fact that rivalry bred good business, for in the closing years of the 1800’s for too many of the steamers were destroyed by carelessness which would not have been possible when a captain’s foremost thought was the success of this next day’s trip.

The era is not without its comedy relief, though, as is evidenced by a story passed on to me by Charles Sanborn, pilot of the “Mount Washington.” When lake steamers were at the height of their popularity, the only money to be made from boating on Winnipesaukee was, of course, in the operation of a steamer. A well-known Lake Village character was Rance “Sinner” Busiel, who had no steamboat and who envied the dollars that were coming to others more fortunate than he. Busiel was crafty and he decided that one good haul with a steam craft of some kind might fix him financially for some time. He possessed only a medium sized scow-shaped barge, and he spent some time figuring on a way to capitalize on the popularity of the steamer with the aid of his barge. The passage of the days tempered his hopes for great financial gain, but wit for which he was noted displaced this former attitude and carried him on to perpetrate the greatest hoax in the history of navigation on Winnipesaukee.

Arrangements having been completed in advance, Busiel’s barge was taken in tow one night by a small steamer which he had engaged for the purpose; and it was not until they had reached a secluded cove between Melvin Village and Lee’s Mills that the barge was nosed to shore and securely fastened. There Busiel went to work to convert the barge into a steamer. Paddle wheels were attached to the sides, but no engine was installed to operate them. Instead, two huge hand cranks were attached to the wheel shaft. This mechanism was concealed below decks, for above the former level decking of barge arose cabins and passageways. All were made to look strong and permanent by skillful construction and deft use of a paintbrush, but actually discarded pieces of timber and building supplies had been flimsily fastened together to create an illusion. To top it off a piece of stove-pipe, bright with new black paint, was placed atop the decks, apparently a legitimate outlet for the steam boiler. This touch had further deceit, for below deck the pipe extended down to the place where the hand cranks were located. There an immense inverted funnel was placed over a large kettle, a device which, when set in operation, was calculated to make even the most doubtful believe that the craft was a steamer. When the whole was complete, the name “Daisy” was painted on both sides at the bow; and again in the night, the craft was towed back to Lake village and tied up at the dock.

Imagine the surprise of the inhabitants to discover a new steamer at the wharf next morning. The transformation was complete; no one recognized the former barge in its disguise. Information regarding the boat was not lacking for long; for Busiel had arranged with a local printer to turn out and distribute several hundred handbills advertising the craft. From all that can be learned o these “flyers” the wording was calculated to bring throngs to Lake Village that evening:

Grand Moonlight Excursion
on the
STEAMER “DAISY”
Tonight at 8 o’clock
Be one of the first to enjoy
a trip on this new boat.
Number of Passengers Limited
Come Early
50 cents Special fare 50 cents

The handbills had the desired result. Long before sailing time the people began to arrive, on foot and in every know type of conveyance. At approximately 7:40 p.m. black smoke began to pour from the stack of the “Daisy.” In reality Busiel had gone below to ignite a pile of oily rags in the kettle which had been placed under the inverted funnel. Provided with a natural draft, the smoke from the rags went up through the pipe and out through the stack. A shout arose from the potential passengers on shore. The fireman was getting up steam! No more was needed, and the crowd surged toward the gangplank. Tickets were sold as fast as possible, and before long the “Daisy” had a capacity crowd. Many had to be left behind, a bitter disappointment to the agitated Busiel, who saw enough money coming in to pay for his investment and show a profit besides.

All was ready, and with a second ignition of rags in the kettle the “Daisy” moved slowly from the Wharf. Four strong men were laboring over the hand cranks. Some of the passengers noticed that progress was slow, but all were having too good a time to complain. Up through Paugus Bay and back to Lake Village the “Daisy” moved. At the end of the trip all agreed that they had spent a happy evening.

In the morning the “Daisy” had disappeared as mysteriously as it had arrived. The same small steamer had fastened on during the late hours and towed the barge away. Before nightfall one of the men who exhausted himself turning the wheel cranks gave the whole thing away, and it was some time before Busiel dared to return to Lake Village. Although they were angered at having been victims of Busiel’s “humor,” the “Daisy’s” one group of passengers suddenly realized that, steamer or not they still enjoyed the excursion, so even the most disgruntled refrained from remonstrating with her “captain.”

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Old 10-19-2004, 08:34 PM   #19
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Red face Robert S. Fogg

RG has referenced Bob Fogg in her 10/14 post above (post #9). When I mentioned to her that I had some of his photos, she sent along some history. I'm going to put the history (from Three Centuries on Winni) along with these photos (and the photos I posted above in this thread) from "Remember When..." - A Bi-Centennial Project of the Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce - 1976.

"Winnipesaukee was the first lake to have rural free delivery via the air, a service being inaugurated between Weirs and several points on the lake by Robert S. Fogg in 1925. An old “flying boat” with a “pusher” propeller was used on those first flights.

The coming of the airplane brought a hitherto unknown method of exploring the depths of the lake. At an altitude of 1,800 or 2,000 feet above the water the shoals can be plainly seen, and when conditions are of refraction of light are right, even greater depths are disclosed. A few seasons ago I was flying from Weirs to Ames Farm with Captain Robert S. Fogg. It was a warm, calm August afternoon with scarcely a ripple on the lake and no “bumps” in the air. In passing over Glendale we noticed that the angle of the afternoon sun permitted us to see far into the water, and there before us was the dim outline of the “Lady’s” hull; indistinct, but doubtless an actuality, for the location was perfect and the hull outline was unmistakable. Since that time Captain Fogg and various of his associates have looked for the hull when passing over that spot, but on only one occasion in a four-year period were conditions again favorable enough to see the hull against the darker color of the water."



Aerial View of Old Mt. Washington taken by Robert S. Fogg from his plane.

Bob Fogg was an innovator.

Bottom photo from "New Hampshire's First Tourists in the Lakes and Mountains" Edited by Charles Stuart Lane - 1992
Link to Citizen Article

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Old 10-19-2004, 10:04 PM   #20
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Wow McDude! That aerial shot of the first Mount is wonderful!
Nice addition to the thread, putting photos with the stories. Thanks.
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:50 PM   #21
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Default Lady of the Lake, Past and Present

This wonderful underwater photograph is courtesy of Grant. Thanks Grant!

The Winnipesaukee Steamboat Company built the “Lady of the Lake” at Lakeport on the plot of land formerly occupied by Hezekiah Bickford’s machine shop. The “Lady of the Lake” was the first Winnipesaukee steamboat to exceed one hundred feet in length, measuring one hundred and twenty-five feet from bow to stern with a beam of thirty-five feet. This craft contributed much to the richness of Winnipesaukee’s boating history when she was taken over by the Concord and Montreal railroad, and opened the navigation rivalry between New Hampshire’s two leading railway lines.

The construction of the “Lady of the Lake” along the more conventional lines of side-wheelers marked the end of the scow-shaped steamer on the lake; but, like the horseboat, a few of these old-timers remained in service with their use confined to infrequent passenger excursions and freight trips.

In June of 1849, she began regular trips between Weirs, Center Harbor and Wolfeboro. It is told of the launching of the “Lady” that hundreds gathered from all parts of the state to see the great event. Many expected the craft to topple over as it slid down the ways, for the size of the boat was considered tremendous at that time. It was with mingled fear and hope that the crowd gasped as the “shores” were knocked away from the hull, and the ship slid toward the water. One eye-witness described it as “a graceful glide with not a ripple to mar the occasion.”

Weirs was on the line of the Concord and Montreal railroad whose tycoon, B. A. Kimball, foresaw, with the success of the Winnipesaukee Steamboat Company’s “Lady of the Lake,” huge profits from commercial navigation of Winnipesaukee. Consequently the “Lady” soon passed into the possession of the railroad. With the change of ownership W. A. Sanborn, a former salt-water engineer, became captain of the boat. With a capacity of four hundred passengers this fine steamer held complete sway of Winnipesaukee navigation for one season, until Captain Sanborn became angered at certain acts of the railroad directors at about the time the Cocheco Railroad launched the steamer “Dover” at Alton Bay.

The “Lady of the Lake” and the Dover” had an interesting and sometimes adventurous battle for several years. In 1865 the “Lady,” traveling from Wolfeboro to Weirs, ran on the famous Witch Rocks and was beached on Governor’s Island. No great damage was done and the boat was soon back in service.

The “Lady” was continued in service until September 14, 1893. Then she was anchored off Belknap Point to be used as housing for the 100 Italian stone masons building Kimball’s Castle. When this work was completed, the hull was towed out into the middle of Glendale Bay (Smith’s Cove), holes were bored below the water line and the “Lady” found her last resting place in 45 feet of water at that location.


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Old 10-26-2004, 01:33 PM   #22
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Hey RG,I thought I recalled reading that the Lady was not intended to be sunk where it rests now,but further out into the lake.The story was that on it's way to a location past Lockes Island,it sank prematurely.Know anything about this? SS
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Old 10-26-2004, 02:35 PM   #23
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Great underwater photo. Thanks for posting, and thanks for taking it too!
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Old 10-27-2004, 08:42 AM   #24
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Default The Eagle Run Aground



Even more spectacular was the wreck of the “Eagle”, but again no personal injuries resulted. In this case the steamer was traveling from Weirs to Lakeport in the early evening, and it is said that the pilot had been drinking, for instead of steering down Paugus Bay and leaving Big Island to the port he shaped his course between Big Island and the small island to the east, with nearly the same result as that of the “Mount Washington” at Mile Island. The “Eagle” struck on of the big, flat ledges, which form a barrier between these two islands, and ran out on a shelf of rock. Again the passengers were removed in small boats, but no sooner had they abandoned the stranded steamer than the “eagle” rolled over on her side. After considerable work the boat was floated again and as she was a comparatively small craft, the job was not impossible-as it appeared from her position. Again little or no damage had been done, and the “Eagle” soon returned to her regular operations.
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Old 10-30-2004, 10:23 PM   #25
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Default Intended Resting Place of The Lady of the Lake

Quote:
Originally Posted by SIKSUKR
Hey RG,I thought I recalled reading that the Lady was not intended to be sunk where it rests now,but further out into the lake.The story was that on it's way to a location past Lockes Island,it sank prematurely.Know anything about this? SS
The following excerpt is taken from Farewell Old Mount Washington, by Edward H. Blackstone.

Following the completion of the building of Kimball’s Castle, the deck houses and superstructure were removed, with only the bare hull remaining.
On a fine Sunday morning in 1895, Maid of the Isles, which was under contract to the Boston and Main Railroad, and the Mineola were given orders to tow the hull to the deep part of the lake near Rattlesnake Island and sink her. Hawsers were attached to the hull and when all was ready the two boats, aided by a locomotive on the nearby railroad track, but a strain on the hawsers. The hull was soon water-borne and a load of heavy boulders, which had been brought alongside on a barge, was placed within it. When the hull had been towed clear of the cove, Maid of the Isles cast off her towline and left Mineola to tow the hull to the intended deep spot, open the sea-valves and let her sink.
As if in protest at this final indignity, the hull of the tired old Lady of the Lake decided to go no further. She lurched violently, taking a list to one side, and began to fill with water. Mineola hurriedly cast off her towline and all that remained of the Lady of the Lake settled to a last resting place in the steamboat lane opposite Glendale Cove.
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Old 11-02-2004, 05:30 PM   #26
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Default Great stories

I can see the spot where the Lady sits on the bottom from my front windows .. A bit creepy on this grey day
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Old 12-07-2004, 05:42 PM   #27
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Default The Belknap

STEPHEN C. LYFORD, with Ichabod Bartlett, well-known lawyer, were the moving spirits of the group which started construction of the "Belknap" in 1832. Work progressed slowly, and one winter passed before the launching in June of 1833. The finishing touches were added after the boat was in the water. A contributing cause to the slow progress of the building was the fact that the project was so much larger in scope than any of the previous boat building attempts. The "Belknap" was ninety-six feet long, had a seventeen-foot beam, and was thirty-three feet overall.

Another cessation of building activity came when a Mr. Bell, of New York, who was directing the construction, was drowned by falling from the dam at Lake Village. Incidentally, this is the first drowning accident on Winnipesaukee of which there is record, and the date of June 12, 1832.

It is said that five or six miles an hour was the top speed for this craft. The "Belknap" is also said to have been very noisy, the sound from her exhaust being audible for several miles on a calm day. On July 9, 1834, the "Belknap" started regular passenger and freight trips on the lake, running between Lake Village, Meredith, Center Harbor and Alton Bay.

Possibly I have made this first Winnipesaukee steamboat seem a little too grand. The "Belknap" actually retained the scow type of construction, and its engine was taken from a sawmill. The boiler was set in brick, and the moving parts of the side-wheel machinery were exposed above decks.

There has been some dispute as to the claim that the "Belknap" was the first steamboat on the lake, and it may be that her rival for this honor suffers only from a lack of accurate records. Every definite bit of data gives the "Belknap" first place. In any event the "Jenny Lind," which some have held to be the first, was certainly the second steamer placed in service.

The "Belknap" has not only the distinction of being the first steamboat on Lake Winnipesaukee, but it likewise was the victim of the first steamboat "disaster." In October of 1841 the boat was coming down the lake between Six Mile and Birch Islands, towing a raft of logs said to contain between twenty and twenty-five thousand feet. A northeast wind was steadily rising, and with marked suddenness the overcast skies lashed the lake into full fury. Under fair conditions the steamer was able to make only two or three miles an hour towing such a large raft; and on this day, when the wind caught the raft in back of the boat, all headway was lost; and the raft swung by the steamer towing the now helpless "Belknap" toward the point of an island. Some claim that even then the wreck might have been averted had the engineer not mistaken a signal bell from the pilot house and sent the engine ahead when the signal was for reverse. Two or three minutes later the craft struck the rocks, filled with water, and settled on the shallow bottom. The log raft was cut away and every effort was made to release the boat; but in spite of all attempts the craft remained securely wedged. The machinery was removed, and the hull, containing only the brick foundation for the boiler, was left where it had struck. From the day of that accident the island where it occurred has borne the name of Steamboat Island.

No further attempts were made to operate steamers in regular passenger service until 1848-49, when the Winnipesaukee Steamboat Company built the "Lady of the Lake" at Lakeport.


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Old 12-08-2004, 03:49 AM   #28
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Default Scuttled or Floundered?

Dear RIG:

The demise of the Lady of the Lake has been a talking point around our house for years. I personaly agree that the Lady while on her way to be scuttled did indeed sink on her own. Heres my proof.

First off, Glendale bay is not a smart place to scuttle a 120 foot ship. While she is in 30 feet of water (22' at the deck) she would not have to have drifted too far to block either passage, South or East, around Locks Island. It would be more prudent to sink her in the open waters just one half a mile away. There is also evidence in the Lady herself.

I have dived the wreck many times since the 70s. there are no holes drilled in the hull that I can find. I have searched both from the inside and outside of the wreck. Secondly she was ballasted with boulders (they are round and about five feet across) for her last voyage.

Since she was being towed to her resting place we can assume that this ballast was placed in a manner giving her a level keel. In the buisness we call this stability.

In the wreck the boulders are mostly in the stern of the vessel and whats more there are a few (four I think) actually outside of the wreck! Two of them are actually under the hull at the sternpost! There are no other rocks around the area at all. Just flat bottom. Those boulders had to come from the ship.

It seem more than possible to me that while being towed the ballast shifted aft putting her stern, where she had minimal bouyancy, under water. This caused the rest of the ballast to shift aft. The stern went down and the bow went up and some of the boulders rolled out of the open deck where the superstructure had been removed. These rocks sank faster than the hull and the Lady finially settled on top of two of the bolders.

So I propose to you, Madam historian that we all enjoy, that the Lady of the Lake chose her own resting place. I like that.

Misty Blue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal
The following excerpt is taken from Farewell Old Mount Washington, by Edward H. Blackstone.

Following the completion of the building of Kimball’s Castle, the deck houses and superstructure were removed, with only the bare hull remaining.
On a fine Sunday morning in 1895, Maid of the Isles, which was under contract to the Boston and Main Railroad, and the Mineola were given orders to tow the hull to the deep part of the lake near Rattlesnake Island and sink her. Hawsers were attached to the hull and when all was ready the two boats, aided by a locomotive on the nearby railroad track, but a strain on the hawsers. The hull was soon water-borne and a load of heavy boulders, which had been brought alongside on a barge, was placed within it. When the hull had been towed clear of the cove, Maid of the Isles cast off her towline and left Mineola to tow the hull to the intended deep spot, open the sea-valves and let her sink.
As if in protest at this final indignity, the hull of the tired old Lady of the Lake decided to go no further. She lurched violently, taking a list to one side, and began to fill with water. Mineola hurriedly cast off her towline and all that remained of the Lady of the Lake settled to a last resting place in the steamboat lane opposite Glendale Cove.

Last edited by Misty Blue; 12-08-2004 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:01 PM   #29
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Thanks Misty Blue for the excellent and vivid description of what the Lady of the Lake looks like in her watery grave. You are now part of her history with this telling. Grant is also part of it, with his underwater photo. I bet you didn’t consider that!
The account from Edward Blackstone regarding the Lady does make the most sense of what actually happened.

Farewell Old Mount Washington, The Story of the Steamboat Era on Lake Winnipesaukee, by Edward H. Blackstone. Published by the Steamship Historical Society of America has been an invaluable tool to cross reference the history of many steamboats.
Herbert Blackstone, Edward’s father, was a steamboat builder, a steamboat operator, captain of the steamers Maid of the Isles and Mt. Washington, owner of the first motorboat livery on Lake Winnipesaukee, builder of speedboats and, for years, Chief Inspector of Steamboats for the State of New Hampshire.
Edward was granted the first combination license as Master, Pilot and Engineer ever given to a 12-year old. He attended Dartmouth for two years before heading out to sea, eventually returning to the lake to retire, where he piloted many boats on the lake, including the Mt. Washington.
Edward’s mother had saved clippings, photographs and other personal records and accounts in the event that someone would write of steamboating on Lake Winnipesaukee. His first account was for an essay for his Laconia High School graduation in 1907. As years passed additional material was accumulated and the story was worked on from time to time.
In 1956 the serious illness of his Uncle Harry E. Brown, brought the realization that a valuable source of authentic information might soon be lost unless immediate action to record it was taken.
The book finally came to fruition in 1969, a very worthwhile, fantastic account of the history of our great lake. Definitely a favorite of mine.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:33 PM   #30
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Default Ladies of the Lake

thanks RG for posting this historical thread. Here's a somewhat related article from "The New England Sampler II" Published in 1971 in Concord, NH by Stephen W. Winship.




The End
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:25 AM   #31
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Thanks for the great information McD. You have quite a collection.
It seems that I misnamed this thread; we both have so much history to share!
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:26 AM   #32
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Default Since You Mentioned Dolly...

Rum Keg Dolly
from Winnipesaukee Whoppers, by Elizabeth Crawford Wilkin
Illustrated by Lloyd Coe



Maybe you wonder why the islands off Meredith Neck (if you've ever seen or heard of them) are called "Aunt Dolly's," and why the near tip of Bear Island is called "Aunt Dolly's Point."
Well, if you'd been a fisherman in the 1800's (or a fisherman's wife waiting for her man at home) you'd have known all right, for Aunt Dolly Nichols ran The Fishermen's Haven on Bear Island. Aside from the attractions of well-cooked food and even better rum, there was Aunt Dolly herself, and her willingness to listen to (and believe) any fish story they cared to tell her, and she could tell a good few herself.
She liked to tell about the night a dozen fishermen took refuge from a storm at her place when she hadn't enough food to soften their rum to feed a kitten. While she was despairing over her empty larder the lake spit and splashed at her back door in the pounding wind, and finally knocked. This was too much for Aunt Dolly. She opened up, and there on her rocky backyard were fish a-plenty, thrown there by the gale.
Then there was the time her old man lost his underpants, and later how she got them patched up fit to wear after she had found them in the "stummicks" of a pair of cusks. It may be she got these cusks mixed up with a goat or two, but no one ever questioned Aunt Dolly's tales. They wanted her to believe their own.
For a small woman she had amazing strength, and often when the Haven's rum supply was low she would row down to The Weirs for a keg. Slinging it single-handed on to her shoulder she would tote it to the wharf where she would remove the bung before an admiring company for a good swig prior to loading, and on arrival at Bear Island she usually repeated the performance for good luck.
She ran the first ferry service on the lake; she used a scull and plied between Bear Island and Meredith Neck.
One evening early in May, according to her best story, when the salmon fishing was at its height and the moon was full, Aunt Dolly was bringing her ferry back alone from the mainland.
Halfway across the passage she saw, in the moon's path, a salmon as big as a dray horse break water just in front of the scull. So she stopped and threw out a line baited with a dead mouse she'd seen lying under the rum keg.
Before she could flick an eye the salmon had struck.
Afterward she said that although it may have been as big as only one horse it had the strength of a dozen, for it started pulling her and her ferry off their course.
With all her lake-renowned strength she held on until her stummick muscles were sore and quivering, but the fish didn't weary. It towed her all the way around Bear Island once and back again, and took two side loops around Birch and Jolly Islands as well.
Along about midnight after they had passed her point for the second time Aunt Dolly was about ready to give in.
"Where are you taking me, and what do you want?" she called out, for she was pretty sure by that time that it was no fish on her hook, but some fiend of Satan.
For the first time in hours, she felt the line go slack, and presently the big fish swam back and came to the surface. She said it had the face of an old hag with long strands of stringy hair and no teeth to speak of.
"Who are you? Go away!" she shrieked at sight of the horrid creature, and in her terror foolishly threw her scull at it.
The "thing" edged closer and Aunt Dolly retreated to the furtherest edge of the ferry.




"I'm the Spirit of Fishermen's Wives," it said. "Wives who have waited at home."
"All right and then what?" called Aunt Dolly but her voice didn't sound like her own.
"Are you ready to strike a bargain?" the creature asked.
"I'm ready to go home," she retorted. "It's cold out here, and a lot of your husbands will soon be waiting for the smell of my coffee and beans and a noggin of rum
That's just the point," the "thing" replied. I’ll agree to tow you home if you'll promise not to serve Rum at The Haven in future."
Aunt Dolly hesitated. She was cold, hungry and tired; she wanted to go home, but The Haven was her livelihood and it couldn't exist without the sale of rum.
"Well," countered Aunt Dolly, "that's sort of sudden-like. Let me shut an eye and think it over."
After a minute the "thing" spat out the dead mouse into the lake with which the salmon hook had been baited, pulled its huge flabby bulk up on to the gunwale of the ferry, and said, "That's fair enough. I'm tired myself, and wouldn't mind a little snooze."
As soon as Aunt Dolly heard it snoring she threw off her hoop and all the other things she didn't need, and swam ashore.
The next morning her old man found the ferry beached at the far end of Bear Island, but in spite of her story the dead mouse was still there under the rum keg.


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Old 12-11-2004, 01:38 PM   #33
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I know that RG and McD must have visited this site http://www.lwhs.us/history.htm but for those of you that have not there is info on the major towns around the lake. A nice resource of the lakes region history. They do not have the wonderful photos we have here but they are working on it according to a web page note.
I found this article interesting on the railroad station(s) in Alton Bay. http://www.lwhs.us/alt-railroadstation.htm

RG & McD thank you for all the historical research and posts you are doing on the lake I really enjoy it.
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:33 AM   #34
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Default Visit a Gundalow?

"Could be wrong but I seem to remember that there is a historical remake of a gundalow operating out of Strawberry Banke.

The next time I go to Station Portsmouth I'll check it out and report back to you guys.

Of course one trip on the Piscataqua and you will never want to leave the Lake.

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Old 02-25-2005, 04:16 PM   #35
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Here is the figurehead of The Lady of the Lake. She was absolutely breathtaking!
She resides at the Tuck Library in Concord. NH Historical Society
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:32 AM   #36
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Default Colonel Charles H. Cummings

RG: You mentioned above that after Our Lake of the Lake was scuttled that the figurehead graced the boathouse of Charles Cummings before being moved to the museum in Concord. Now I'm sure that she is warmer and dryer (drier?) in Concord but I hear that she really misses the view. I came across this postcard of the view that the Lady enjoyed from the Cummings Estate.....
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:16 PM   #37
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Default The Story of the Steamboat Era on Lake Winnipesaukee, by Edward H. Blackstone.

Rattlesnake Gal:

After reading your review in amazon.com, I decided to spend the big bucks and purchased a hard copy of The Story of the Steamboat Era on Lake Winnipesaukee,by Edward H. Blackstone. I greatly anticipate reading this book. I have been interested in the Old Mount and the steamboats that plied Lake Winnipesaukee's waters for many years.
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:47 PM   #38
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Thumbs up Farewell Old Mount Washington

Congratulations Carguy! I don’t think you will be disappointed. It’s still is my favorite lake book.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:33 PM   #39
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Default ms mount washington

I have to say I enjoyed thoroughly all of the stories and information about the steamboat mt washington. I have been doing my ancestry on my moms side the Lovett's. I have found the family was a big part of the steamboat era.
Thanks to your stories and other information i collected, I found out that my great great grandfather was one of the pilot's for the mount his name is John M. Lovett. and he had two sons, one that was also a pilot and one a fireman and Lorenzo Lovett, his uncle was an engineer.
If anyone happens to have any information on them or pictures I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you again

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Old 10-12-2011, 10:33 PM   #40
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Default The Nellie vs The Seneca

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal View Post
There was fierce competition between the railroad companies, which owned the first steamboats.
I took a quick look through the book and these are the names that came up, not many dates, but it was only a quick look.

First Steamboat Fleet:
Belknap – 1834 - First passenger/freighter
Jenny Lind - may have actually been the first, but there is a lack of records
Cork Leg - later was renamed - Widow Dustin (Widder)

Other Steamers:
Long Island
Dolly Dutton
Mayflower
Naugutuck
Seneca
Ossipee
Winnipesaukee
Lady of the Lake - 1849
Dover - 1851
Chocorua - 1866
James Bell (Jim Bell)
Mount Washington - 1872
Nellie – the first propeller driven steamboat - 1875
Maid of the Isles – the second propeller driven steamboat - 1877

Minneola - 1877
....
I believe the Seneca was steam powered and was wrecked in the mid-1860's . It is believed that the prop of the Seneca was found near Goose Egg Rock in 1976. The Nellie (1875) is reported above to be the first propeller driven steamboat. If that is true, then the found propeller could not be from the Seneca OR the Nellie is not the first propeller driven steamboat. Interesting!

P.S. Just read that Bruce Heald states (page 34 of Follow The Mount) that the Mineola was the "first screw-driven steamer".
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Last edited by Senter Cove Guy; 10-12-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #41
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What happened to 'The Eagle' and 'The James Belle'? Were they scuttled in the lake?
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