Travel to the northwest corner of the Granite State's Lake Winnipesaukee and you will soon enter the charming quintessential New England community of Meredith. Enchanting and pastoral are only a couple of the superlatives that can be used to describe this delightful lakeside village. Meredith is close to all that the region has to offer and is nestled at the foot of the surrounding hills and mountains. This region offers the perfect setting for rest and relaxation and attracts visitors from all over the world throughout the year but especially during the warmer months.
Here you will find the enchanting Mill Falls Marketplace which is home to a multitude of specialty shops in comfortable surroundings and offers dining possibilities as well. Shops and restaurants line the streets of Meredith and offer a fun and entertaining way to spend a summer day.
May's Meredith In Bloom celebrates the return of warm weather, bursting with color from daffodils, tulips, lilacs and flowering trees. Motorcycle Week brings classic and custom bikes to the area in June. Throughout the town, Independence Day heralds the summer season and fireworks displays are accented with parades, barbecues and the fun Rubber Duckie Races at Mill Falls Marketplace.
Meredith provides a variety of lodging possibilities with many of them at the water's edge adding to the pleasant atmosphere for which this town is famous.
Church Landing at Mill Falls is the region's newest and spectacular Inn offering, 58 luxurious rooms and suites all with picturesque lake views and in-room fireplaces and indoor and outdoor pool, the distinctive Lake House Grill Restaurant and the new full service Cascade Spa. An unforgettable experience awaits you.
Antique shops and craft fairs and festivals are a big part of Meredith's events during the summer and fall months. Other points of interest in Meredith include a scenic lakeside train ride abroad the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. This is a great way to view the lake and surrounding area.
In every season, there are special events in Meredith and the surrounding towns in addition to our outdoor activities. The February Ice Fishing Derby in Meredith Bay is a winter highlight, netting curious spectators to view the trophy trout, perch, pickerel and more.
May's Meredith in Bloom celebrates the return of warm weather, bursting with color from daffodils, tulips, lilacs and flowering trees. Motorcycle Week brings classic and custom bikes to the area in June.
Throughout our towns, Independence Day heralds the summer season, and fireworks displays are accented with parades, barbecues, and the fun Rubber Duckie Race at Mill Falls Marketplace in Meredith.
The annual Lakes Region Fine Arts and Crafts Festival brings over 100 juried artists and craftspeople to Meredith, demonstrating their talents and selling their wares during the last weekend in August.
Autumn reveals one of the most spectacular shows of foliage color in the country, beautifully reflected in our many lakes, and accompanied by festivals, parties and the Sandwich Fair. And our holidays are bright, with our spectacular Festival of Trees in Hesky Park in Meredith, open houses for shopping, and fun horse and wagon rides among twinkling snowflakes. Come to the Meredith area... any time of year!
With a long tradition of hospitality, the Meredith Area offers a myriad of accommodations. You'll find abundant choices of quaint New England inns and B&B's, modern motels and lodges, cozy cottages and efficiencies, spacious suites, rental homes, and waterfront cabins. If your idea of a vacation is total pampering, attentive service and seemingly endless amenities, you can have it all at one of the area's full service resorts... from elegant country inns to impeccably restored estates to newly built hotel complexes. There are romantic getaways with candlelight breakfasts, rustic family cottages with screened porches, and a variety of everything in-between! Some of our accommodations have boat slips, private beaches, hiking trails, and shopping. Many have hot tubs, pools, tennis, fishing, and boat rentals.
Our camping choices are equally varied. You can pitch a tent in the woods and enjoy a back-to-nature experience. Stay in a camping cabin complete with hot shower, fireplace, and kitchenette. Keep busy with on-site outdoor activities or just relax away the hours by a crackling campfire.
Other vacation options, for a week, month or entire season, are available through Vacation Rental programs, with accommodations ranging from secluded lakeside cabins to waterfront retreats.
Whatever your pleasure, you'll find it here!
The Meredith Area is known for its exceptional selection of dining choices. Visitors can choose from traditional American favorites, ethnic cuisine, fast food, or elegant dining. Indulge in a sundae of homemade ice cream, savor a traditional New England turkey dinner with all the fixin's, or dine in the rustic setting of a barn, a boathouse, or a lake camp. Dining is truly an experience here!
Tax-free shopping abounds in our variety of distinctive shops, elegant boutiques, old-fashioned country stores, and specialty food purveyors. You'll find items unique to the Meredith Area and special one-of-a-kind pieces. Find a Christmas decoration, a gift for a golfer, a hard-to-find wine, or a delectable box of hand-dipped chocolates. Have fun exploring!
Antique shops and collectibles galleries can be found throughout our region, waiting for you to explore. Visit our arts and crafts galleries, with some local artists who open their working studios or offer instruction. There are three League of New Hampshire shops in the Lakes Region, highly regarded for their juried fine art, sculpture and crafts.
Many business in the Meredith Area cater to the group business and are happy to tailor a package to fit your needs... be it a family reunion, a vacation with a group of friends, or a getaway for a club or organization. Banquets, meetings, conferences, and other functions are easily accommodated.
Or choose a theme weekend - crafting, antiqueing, quilting, tax-free shopping, or any one of our endless outdoor activities. Discover the quiet and beauty that makes late fall a favorite time of year for residents of the Lakes Region. Or cure your cabin fever for a spring getaway when the area is less busy than at peak times.
The Meredith Area is also the perfect spot for a dream come true wedding - whether it be a lavish formal affair or an intimate backyard ceremony. Locations range from full service resorts and rustic estates to country inns and historical sites, many offering spectacular lake and mountain views. The knowledgeable and professional staff at the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce can assist in making your wedding memorable by directing you to caterers, florists, photographers, etc.
SOURCE: MEREDITH AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
"2005 Champion Town" Meredith, New Hampshire
Quaint and picturesque, Meredith was awarded the “2005 Champion Town” by America in Bloom, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting nationwide beautification, and recognizing personal and community involvement. Endless lake and mountain vistas and unsurpassed natural beauty makes the Meredith area one of the most popular destinations on Lake Winnipesaukee. Truly the heart of the Lakes Region, Meredith is the latchkey to the spectacular White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Spindle Point features the only lighthouse on Lake Winnipesaukee. It is rumored that the costume designer for the “Wizard of Oz” designed the witch's hat after seeing this conical stone lighthouse during a visit to Meredith.
The Neal Shore area of Meredith Bay is a particularly beautiful location. Facing East, sunrises and sunsets over the bay are truly breathtaking.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 54.1 square miles, of which, 40.2 square miles of it is land and 13.9 square miles of it is water or 25.73%. The highest point in Meredith is Leavitt Mountain, elevation 1,414 feet above sea level, in the southwestern part of town.
Meredith was first known as Palmer's Town, in honor of Samuel Palmer, a teacher of surveying and navigation, who had laid out much of the land surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee. One of the first towns to have a charter granted by the Masonian Proprietors, many new settlers were from Salem, Massachusetts, and the town was renamed New Salem. In 1768, the land was regranted and named after Sir William Meredith, who opposed taxation on the colonies.
Since the mid-nineteenth century, Meredith Village has served as the town's civic, industrial, commercial and residential center. The village is nestled on a narrow neck of land bounded by lakes on either side, and its streets are lined with nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings. Stunning vistas of Lake Winnipesaukee are afforded from many vantage points, and the tour includes three landscaped, lakeshore parks.
The township of Meredith was granted in 1748, but unrest due to the ongoing French and Indian Wars meant settlement was delayed for some twenty years. However, by the late 1760s Meredith had its first residents.
Initially, the center of town activity was farther south, at Meredith Parade, an open, upland area where a meetinghouse, cemetery and schoolhouse were sited along the Province Road. This early route was a main supply route between the coast and northern inland New Hampshire and passed through Meredith.
New England town histories are rife with communities whose eighteenth century hilltop, agriculturally based town centers were abandoned in favor of nineteenth century valley villages oriented around industry serviced by water power and the railroad. Meredith is no exception.
Though Meredith Parade was the original town center, it was soon eclipsed in importance by Meredith Center and the Weirs, both of which had water power for small mills. During the nineteenth century two other manufacturing centers dominated Meredith's industrial growth: Meredith Village and Meredith Bridge. Meredith Village to the north was the smaller of the two. Meredith Bridge, whose water power surpassed that of the village, grew more rapidly and had a number of factories devoted to hosiery manufacturing.
Meredith Village's beginnings stem from the construction of a sawmill in 1795 and a grist mill shortly thereafter along the outlet of Lake Waukewan into Lake Winnipesaukee. By 1800 a small village had taken shape, with a third (fulling) mill, two stores and a handful of houses. The town built a road in 1773 branching off the Province (now Parade) Road running to the Moultonboro town line, now Center Harbor village, part of which still serves as Main Street. Meredith also profited from a seacoast road that linked Dover to Alton Bay, where transport continued on boats across the lake and thence into inland New Hampshire; one of the boat landings was at Meredith Village.
Every town had its "squire" or civic leader. Meredith's was Ebenezer Smith, who, as agent for the original grantees, was one of the town's first settlers along Parade Road. He organized the settlement into an incorporated township in 1768, led the town into involvement in the Revolutionary War, and represented Meredith and surrounding communities in the provincial and state governments.
In 1809 John Bond Swasey, a local resident only twenty-seven years of age, made a substantial land purchase that included a major portion of Meredith Village and ultimately shaped its future. The seller was Daniel Avery, who played a leading role in developing Meredith Bridge and who had bought up much of Meredith Village in the decade prior to Swasey's purchase.
In the years that followed, Swasey reconstructed the Waukewan outlet into an abundant canal leading under Main Street and over a forty-foot waterfall. Several new and larger mills were built along the canal, including a carding mill. In the early 1830s the carding mill was renovated into a cotton mill under the auspices of the locally controlled Meredith Village Cotton Factory Company.
An account of the village in 1822 mentions five stores, a tannery, a cloth-dresser and manufacturer. The first of the village's three historic churches, the Baptist Church, was built in 1834 on Main Street. In 1839, Seneca Ladd opened a carriage manufactory on Plymouth Street; it prospered until it burned eleven years later. Arrival of the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad at Meredith Village in 1848 was a key factor in the community's continued growth.
One of the more illustrious Meredith figures of these years was Dudley Leavitt, best known for his popular farmer's almanac. Leavitt left his mark also as a schoolmaster, teaching the finer points of literature, mathematics and the sciences to youngsters at his academy located between Meredith Village and Center Harbor.
In 1854 the town of Meredith voted to relocate its town hall from Parade Road to the village. A site was selected at the southeast corner of Main and Lake Streets and work begun. The following year, the partially finished building collapsed during its first town meeting, killing five and injuring dozens of others. The calamity only furthered the already existing rift between Meredith Bridge and Meredith Village, and a few months later, the Bridge seceded and was incorporated as part of the new town of Laconia. Meredith hastily rebuilt its town hall on the same site, where it remained until 1877.
The loss of Meredith Bridge meant the loss of a major portion of the town's economic base, as well as of prime agricultural land. Meredith Village at that time included a saw mill, a grist mill, several blacksmith shops, two tanneries, a carpenter's shop, a tin shop and a cooper's shop. Seneca Ladd opened a piano and melodeon business at the corner of Highland and Main Streets, in a building that later housed the Meredith Village Savings Bank and the post office and, currently, the Historical Society Museum. Another half-dozen stores, three churches (including two that were moved from elsewhere in town), a cemetery, a school and approximately 80 houses rounded out the village. Dr. George Sanborn practiced medicine from his house at the corner of Main and Water Streets. The railroad tracks and depot were situated at the south end of the village. Lang Street (then Winnipesaukee Street) provided a shorter route between the depot and the shore, and Dover Street led to the steamboat landing. Plymouth Street was newly developed with houses erected primarily by Joseph Ela beginning in 1846. Water and High Streets had houses on either side of the canal.
In 1859 a group of local businessmen formed the Meredith Mechanic Association to promote and develop the village's manufacturing potential. It purchased the water privileges along the Waukewan Canal, considered among the best water power sources in the state, and soon owned three factory buildings, three shops, one store and three houses along the south side of Dover Street. In 1873 a town vote exempted new manufacturers from property taxes for ten years if their capital exceeded $5,000.00.
One of the Association's first tenants was Seneca Ladd's piano manufactory. In 1866 the dark brothers established a lumber mill at the foot of Dover Street, where they made box shook and building materials utilizing power regulated by the Association. But it was Samuel Hodgson's hosiery mill, which the Association brought to town in 1876, that had the greatest impact on the village.
An Englishman, Hodgson first went to Lowell upon his arrival in the United States in 1866. He soon moved north ward to Lakeport (part of Laconia), where he was involved in dyeing and manufacturing hosiery. While there he teamed up with mechanic William Abel to develop and patent an automatic machine for knitting stockings. Hodgson foresaw the vast potential of both the machine and the Mechanic Association's property and, in 1876, brought his new equipment to the Association mill at Meredith Village. There he rented the Association's main mill in the center of the village. He soon built a larger mill that tripled his work space and, by 1885, employed over 150 workers.
Meredith in the 1880s was a prosperous mill town. In addition to Hodgson's hosier mill and dark's lumber mill, there was the Meredith Shook and Lumber Company, with its sixty workers at a lakefront site near the foot of Mill Street; the J.A. Lang & Company, makers of piano cases, doors, windows and other building supplies; and Jaziel Robinson's organ factory. Churches, a hotel, new town hall, bank, library, local newspaper and various stores attracted people from not only outlying Meredith, but the surrounding region. Both the railroad and steamboat brought people from farther afield. New streets sprang up, lined with dwellings to house the many workers in Hodgson's and the other mills.
Beyond the confines of the village, Meredith was a prosperous agricultural town. Its hillside farms and lake views were prized, and some of the state's most successful stock breeders raised their herds here. The forward thinking of the community's farmers was reflected in its grange activities; one former grange headquarters, now a Masonic hall, still stands on Main Street in the village. The Wadleigh plow, noted for its lightness and its swivel blade, numbered among the village's products.
In late 1889 Hodgson's mill burned to the ground. With the loss of its principal tenant, the Mechanic Association's strength weakened, and its property was put for auction. It was eventually purchased and outfitted into a linen mill that specialized in toweling made from imported flax. The mill operated until the 1980s.
Today, the restored mill complex houses a fine hotel and specialty shops set amidst the waterfall of Swasey's canal. Beginning in the late 19th century and continuing throughout the 20th century, Meredith, like other Lake Winnipesaukee towns, became a popular summer resort destination. Visitors arrived first by train and later by automobile. Two primary routes to the White Mountains intersected in the village, encouraging downtown Meredith to develop into a regional trading center, a function it continues to serve today, with its handsome wooden storefronts. After the state relocated the highways around the village to follow the lake shore, lake frontage was set aside to the town, opening up former industrial land to the public for strolling and picnics.
› Bob Montana
› Waterfront Parks
› Village Mills
› Nutting/Horne Block
› Lower Main Street
› Congretional Church
› Historical Society Museum
› Sandborn House/Drug Store
› Lang/Mansfield/Grad's Store
› Swasey Stone
› The Great Catastrophe
› Civil War Statue
› Public Library
› Humiston School