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Preserving the History & Heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee & Vicinity
 
 

THE GRAND OLD STEAMER MOUNT WASHINGTON


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SAILING ON LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE



Continued from page 1

With the launching of the Mount Washington, The Boston and Maine Railroad had no further use for the Chocorua. She was badly inneed of repair, so it was decided to scrap her. Captain Augustus Wiggin was given command of the new queen of Lake Winnipesaukee. His pride in this great steamboat knew no bounds, and he served her ably until the year 1896, when he retired, he was succeeded by Captain Harry L. Wentworth, of Long Island in Moultonborough.

The year 1893 was an eventful one in the history of the Lakes Region. The expanding Boston and Maine railroad had gained control of the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad by virtue of a 99-year lease, this put their steamer Mt. Washington in a position of undisputed dominance on the Lake.

Lady Of The Lake had over many years maintained her competitive position on the lake by hard work and long hours. The following
article by Howard F. Greene's Winnipesaukee Voyage states: "Even though the Mount outclassed the Lady Of The Lake, their rivalry continued unabated for eighteen more years. The captain and the crew of the LADY pushed themselves even harder in their efforts to regain some of their lost business, until by 1890 the vessel ran three round trips a day from June 4 until October 20. She began her day's work at 5:30 a.m., sailing from Wolfeboro to long Island, Centre harbor. Bear Island, and the Weirs. Arriving back at Wolfeboro at 10: 20 a.m., she sailed immediately on her second trip, which finished at 7:30 P.M. - a fourteen hour day for captain and crew, not counting the time involved in firing up in the morning and cleaning up at night.

Even with all the efforts of the great Lady, she could not withstand the losing battle against the Mount Washington, and she made her last voyage in September, 1893, after which she was destroyed by the owner. The Mount was left alone and crowned the "Queen of the Lake."

An event which was chronicled during the years 1888-89 was the relative speeds of the Maid Of The Isles and the Mount Washington. During the summer of 1898, the Maid Of The Isles was returning to Centre Harbor with a group of tourists. The passengers were predominately of Irish blood and most of them were guests of the Garnet Inn and the Moulton House, hostelries that were especially popular with summer visitors from South Boston and Dorchester. Maid Of The Isles was their favorite excursion steamer, and during these morning sails their voices were usually raised in song. This was so enjoyable for the crew members of the Maid Of The Isles that they looked forward each summer to these occasions with pleasant anticipation.

The Maid Of The Isles had passed Bear Island Wharf and was lazing along while sweet Irish voices were enriching the summer air with a rendition of "The Spanish cavalier." Suddenly, somebody called out, "Here comes the Mount." Sure enough, Mt. Washington had rounded the end of Pine Island and was rapidly over- hauling Maid Of The Isles. She was abeam of the Maid when the two steamers were abreast of Beaver Island, and a band on the Mount Washington struck up the tune "The Girl I Left Behind Me."

That did it. Captain Blackstone stepped into the pilot house with his pilot, Elmer Davis, and whistled down the speaking-tube to the engine room. "Open her up. Will," he said to his engineer. Will did open her up and now it was Maid Of The Isles' turn to signal, with a plume of smoke, that she was on her way. Maid Of The Isles passed the Mount

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