“Souvenirs From the Past”
The lake has been a visitor destination for 150 years. View the collection of souvenir
plates, paper weights, postcards and more from the 1870s to the 1980s.
“The Steamboat Era”
Steamboats were on the lake from 1833 to 1939, when the old Mount Washington Steamer burned at the Weirs. View photographs and artifacts from a variety of old steamboats, a working model of the old Mount, and a special collection of photographs showing the launching of the new Mount in 1940.
“Water Skiing on Winnipesaukee
and the Weirs Ski Club”
Memorabilia, trophies and photos on display from
the 1950’s show water ski tricks, tournaments,
and national competitions.
Camps on Lake Winnipesaukee”
Seasonal boys and girls camps played a significant
role in the history and heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee.
At one time, over 100 such camps were on or around
the lake and were typically run by educators or others
interested in the physical and moral health of youth.
Today about two dozen camps are in operation.
History of the Lake Winnipesaukee
The Museum’s property is itself an historic
landmark and represents an era which changed the way
Americans spent their summer vacations --- an example
of the tradition of hospitality vital to the area’s
history and economy since the 1800’s.
The property was purchased in 1923 by David O’Shan,
a lifelong resident and long-time state legislator,
who first had a poultry farm on the site. In the 1930’s,
he developed the property into a cabin colony - the
second one built in Laconia - as a place for visitors
to stay while in the area. “Mr. Veteran,”
as he was known, named the cabin colony the “Y.D.
Cabins” after the “Yankee Division”
of the Army in which he served during World War I.
The Museum building is the original residence and
the yellow cottages nearby are part of the original
cabin colony. One of the buildings is from the former
The Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society purchased
the property in 1999 and spent five years developing
and renovating the site. The Museum opened on a part-time
basis in June 2004.