Wolfeboro is the center of activity on the eastern side of "Lake Winnipesaukee" and can be reached by driving Routes 28 or 109.
As you approach Wolfeboro from any Direction you will pass by lovely old homes and inns until you arrive at the picturesque center of the village with views of Wolfeboro Bay and the lake beyond. Along Main Street you will find charming boutiques and specialty shops of every description, a range of restaurants from casual family spots to historic inn dining rooms and taverns. A beautifully situated park on the lake's shore provides a perfect spot to savor and ice cream while watching the boats darting about on the bay or the exciting arrival on the famous M/S Mount Washington as she docks nearby. This park hosts many cultural and entertaining events throughout the year and is the center point for summertime entertainment.
Visitors will enjoy such events as musical performances, fine art shows, craft fairs, the New England Antique Boat Museum, fireworks and many other activities. A Unique way to see lake Winnipesaukee and its natural surrounding is by kayak, other popular activities on the lake are water skiing, wind surfing, swimming, boating and fishing. Many of the stores in town sell the accessories you will need. On land there are hiking and biking possibilities that offer spectacular views of the region and provide a great escape into nature.
Other forms of entertainment to explore are a variety of museums and attractions as the Wright Museum, (WWII era), Libby Museum (Natural History), The New Hampshire Boat Museum(glimpse into the past),Klickey Klack Railroad and Hampshire Pewter Company which give guided tours through the pewter workshop. Also be sure to check out Great Waters Music Festival concerts held on the beautiful grounds of Brewster Academy.
Since the last colonial governor, John Wentworth, chose this spot where the lakes meet the mountains as his summer retreat visitors have returned to this picturesque New England village again and again. This "Oldest Summer Resort in America" features the best that this popular vacation area has to offer with quaint shops, superb restaurants, museums and many activities that will fit perfectly into your vacation schedule. Come enjoy Wolfeboro's special hospitality, beauty and charm.
Town Was Granted
The Town of Wolfeboro was first granted in 1759 to 4 young men of Portsmouth ,and was named Wolfeboro in honor of General James Wolfe (who had been victorious at Quebec in 1759). Royal Governor Wentworth and his Family then began building a summer estate in 1763, and then soon after other wealthy families built summer homes here. In 1764 2,300 acres were added to the 60 acres reserved for the governor: Governor John Wentworth then established an estate on the site, known as Kingswood. This was the first summer country estate in northern New England, thus the town's slogan: "The Oldest Summer Resort in America". It was destroyed by fire in 1820. The Railroads then pushed into the region and the area soon became a full-fledged recreation and vacation area. The town was then incorporated.
The Town of Wolfeboro was granted on October 5, 1759, settled in 1768, and incorporated in 1770. It was granted by Governor John Wentworth and named for General Wolfe who was the hero of the Battle of Quebec. The fact that Wentworth built a mansion on Smith Pond (now Lake Wentworth) is the basis for Wolfeboro's claim as the oldest summer resort in America.
Wolfeboro began as a farming community with the activity center being Dimon's Corner. This settlement was on the stage route from Dover to Conway. Lumber and the growth and sales of apple products was a large part of early industry. Wolfeboro Falls became know as "Slab City" for wood related activities carried on there. Wood products remained a major local industry until the early 20th century.
For many years the "bridge" or downtown Wolfeboro was not the center of activity. Separate entities developed around Dimon's Corner, Goose Corner, South Wolfeboro, Pleasant Valley, Wolfeboro Falls and Wolfeboro Center.
Beyond lumber and agriculture other industries came to Wolfeboro over the years commencing in the last half of the 19th century. These have included woolen blankets, shoes, clay pipes, excelsior, dairy products, pewter, clothes, etc.
With the end of the Civil War and the building of the Wolfeboro R.R. in 1872, the tourist industry began to flourish. The Pavilion, the first hotel of major significance was built in 1850 and was followed by several others. The Mt. Washington launched in 1872 also brought in tourists by water during the summer season. Tourism continues to be a major industry for Wolfeboro.
According to the United States Census Bureau,
the town has a total area of
58.5 square miles
. 48.3 square miles of it is land and 10.2 square miles of it is water, comprising 17.40% of the town. Wolfeboro is drained by the Smith River. The highest point in town is Moody Mountain, elevation 1,420 feet
above sea level
, located near the northern boundary.
The Wolfeborough Railroad
Brewster Academy History