Lake Winnipesaukee History

History of Lake WinnipesaukeeNew Hampshire has a natural treasure nestled south of the White Mountain National Forest. Lake Winnipesaukee is “the jewel in the crown” of New Hampshire’s serene Lakes Region. The Lake is a popular destination for nature lovers who have sought out its hidden coves, lush islands, green valleys, and the surrounding majestic White Mountain landscape. There is a lot to do in the Lake Winnipesaukee area, and the heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee runs as deep as its blue waters.

History of a Glacial Lake in New Hampshire
Lake Winnipesaukee was formed 1,000,000 million years ago by the slow movement of glacial activity. The lake is surrounded by mountain views on all sides and its freshwater supply is fed by natural aquifers. The area of the lake is 72 square miles bounded by an 186-mile shoreline.

First European Settlers
The landscape has hardly changed since it was discovered by Captain Edward Johnson and Simon Willard in 1652. In fact, visitors can still see the signature they inscribed on Endicott Rock.

Native Americans tried to stop European settlers from moving into the region, but by the 18th century, roads were built to create safe passage for tourists and the area became known as the “Oldest Summer Resort in America.”

The Effect of Trains and Automobiles
The area’s natural resources became a center for New Hampshire’s textile industry and the increased need for industry transformed the economy of the region. Mass transportation increased demand for the lake’s quiet landscape. Tourists began to retreat to the region in the Summer. As early as the 19th century, boaters have navigated the lake’s waters. The region remained mostly rural until the turn of the century when city dwellers took locomotives from Boston via Laconia. Thousands of people visited the lakes during this time period. However, the advent of the automobile brought in even more travelers to the region.

New Hampshire’s Most Peaceful Vacation Destination
Today Lake Winnipesaukee is a premier vacation spot. Every year millions of visitors frequent the tranquil shores of Lake Winnipesaukee for fishing, camping, skiing, snowmobiling, dog sled racing, and as an outlet to explore nature’s beauty. The lake boasts attractive Summer homes on the shore and on the 274 islands that dot the region. Lake Winnipesaukee is the home to Summer campgrounds, public beaches, chalets, marinas, theaters, and prestigious resorts. In addition to its accommodations, the region hosts regattas, Summer concerts, and nature walks for those who desire to appreciate and embrace the lake’s natural wonders.

Photo credit: “Summer Home” by hankzby is licensed under CC BY 2.0