Lake Wentworth History

The Character, Culture and Charm of Lake Wentworth: Maggie Stier, historian and 4th generation Wolfeboro resident and member of the WWA (full bio below), chronicles the stories of the lake that made Wolfeboro the oldest summer resort in America. How was the lakeshore settled and developed? What role did summer camps, the railroad, and the Lake Wentworth Association play in developing its identity and culture? How do its place names reflect local traditions and what trends and patterns characterize land ownership? What milestones mark its history, and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead? Through illustrations, photographs, and maps, you will learn more about how the lake and its character and culture developed, and gain a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by development, use, and protection efforts of Lake Wentworth today.

The following is an unedited video recording of the live session presented by Maggie Stier on July 21, 2021. The video is 52 mins long. The Association would like to thank Maggie and members who contributed to her research in preparation for this presentation.

Maggie Stier has written, taught, and lectured about New England history and culture for over 35 years. A native of the Granite State, she has worked for many years for various museums, and is in her twelfth year with the statewide historic preservation non-profit, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. Other experience includes founding director of The Fells historic estate and gardens on Lake Sunapee, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

Stier is the author of the AMC book, Into the Mountains: Stories of New England’s Most Celebrated Peaks, and numerous other scholarly articles and presentations. She holds degrees from Vassar, Boston University and Antioch University of New England.

Acknowledgements—continuity of camp ownership means there are lots of people around the lake whose families have been here for generations. They have been so generous in sharing their stories.

Walter Bowman 1956 history, volume 2 published by LWA in 1996, and private histories of the Sister Islands, Triggs Island, Pleasant Valley shore camps, as well as private journals have all been invaluable.

Maps and postcard collections are other sources.

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