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Preserving the History & Heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee & Vicinity
The building's history dates to the turn of the 20th century, wealthy Englishman, Isaac Van Horn, who amassed his fortune developing land in Florida, captured the heart and hand of a beautiful debutante. In 1903, with his new bride, Madeline, by his side, Isaac visited the Squam Lakes region and became enchanted with the beauty of the area. He had long dreamt of building a stunning mansion, high on a hill and was taken by Shepard Hill with its spectacular vistas and majestic pines. A decisive man, Isaac purchased the land and began construction immediately. He and Madeline spared no expense. They brought artisans and craftsman from around the world to make their new home a breathtaking retreat.

The manor was completed in 1907 and became the site of many elaborate parties hosted by the Van Horns. It was widely recognized as a showplace for the beautiful Squam Lakes area. Isaac and Madeline enjoyed their home until Madeline's premature death, an event which broke Isaac's heart. So much so, he could no longer bear to live in the beautiful manor on Shepard Hill. He moved and, in time, remarried an urban socialite who ultimately persuaded Isaac to abandon his dream home.

Since that time the property has changed hands many times. At one point in the 1940's the property was purchased by Harold Fowler, a renowned photographer. He converted the mansion into the Holderness Photographic Colony. During the Fowler years, the manor was a vacation center for amateur and professional photographers alike. Since the late 1950's the property has operated as an inn under various names. The inn's stature has grown steadily since then, aided substantially by the movie On Golden Pond.