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Reprinted from "Farewell Old Mount Washington" by Edward H. Blackstone ©1969

Early in the winter of 1881, the following item appeared in the columns of the Boston Herald:

Mr. Herbert Blackstone, a graduate of the evening ship design school of this city has just designed a 60-foot steamer, to be run from The Weirs to Alton Bay, Lake Winnipiseogee, N. H. The steamer will be built on the shores of the lake and will be used as a pleasure yacht.

The contract to build the boat was awarded to the young man who drew the plans, and when Blackstone arrived at the lake it was mid-winter. He was met at Meredith by Arthur Lamprey, for whom he was to build the boat; his baggage and tools were loaded on a sled of the type used for hauling cordwood, and he rode to Long Island for the first time behind a team of horses.

At his direction, a list of building materials had been assembled at Horseboat Landing. The material included quantities of dry white oak, which had been cut on the Lamprey farm. This was before the days of power tools, so broad axes and adzes were used to hew a keel, a stem, a sternpost, ribs and other parts of the frame from this iron-hard timber. It was hard work, but the end product had to be as strong as steel.

Despite the hard work, deep snow and severe cold weather, the boat was completed and launched in the early summer. She was propeller-driven and was the first steamboat owned by this family fitted with a water-tube or tubular boiler and a Payne engine. Incidentally, this firm of engine builders, which was later known as Fitz-Henry and Payne, supplied engines and machinery for many of the best known steamboats on Lake Winnipesaukee. The boat was christened "Belle Of The Wave" and she soon became an important competitor in lake commerce.

Repritned from "Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee" by Paul H. Blaisdell © 1936

The "Belle of the Wave" was one of the first of the Blackstone-built Winnipesaukee boats, having been constructed in 1881 by Herbert A. Blackstone for Ansel Lamprey. The hull was seventy-two feet long with a twelve-foot beam and was equipped with a Paine engine and an upright boiler. When completed the "Belle" went into service between Lakeport and Long Island, to connect with the "Mount Washington."

The last of the trio of well-known steamers to go during this era was the "Belle of the Wave," a victim of fire. This boat burned to the waters edge while tied up for the night at Long Island, in the year 1884.


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