Monday, April 19, 2010

Lake Sunapee

Spring is in full swing, which means many trips home to get the boats ready for summer. Today Sunapee is pretty similar too every other rural New England lake. Families pour in from Massachusetts with their pontoon boats in tow for a day of swimming, fishing, and tubing on the lake. For attractions and lodging there are few motels, ice cream shops, and a handful of stores selling souvenirs.

At the turn of the century the lake was a much different place. The train tracks brought passengers directly in from New York City. Massive Hotels loomed over the nicer harbors and beaches. Complete with large outdoor patios and basement pool halls. Three steam boats ferried people from the different hotels to a casino located on one of the larger islands. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, the passenger car changed this forever. One people were no longer bound by the stops of the railroads traffic to the Sunapee area steadily declined, and the hotels, bars, and steamboats disappeared. All that remain are the three lighthouses that once guided the steamers at night.

View of Blodgettes casino from the beach

Ben Mere hotel in Sunapee harbor

Train tracks lead right to the steamboat landing

The Soonipi hotel

Mail delivered by boat

Another view of the casino

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