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Preserving the History & Heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee & Vicinity

Lake Winnipesaukee Museum

LWHS Davit 1 LWHS Exhibit 1 LWHS Exhibit 2 LWHS Exhibit 3


In the scenic Lakes Region of New Hampshire, the Lake Winnipesaukee Museum is located on Route 3 in the Weirs section of Laconia. The physical street address is: 503 Endicott Street, North.

From Interstate 93, take Exit 23 onto Route 104 east, and go 11 miles until it ends on Route 3. Take a right onto Route 3 south, and go 3.0 miles. We’re on the left, just after Funspot and one mile north of the Weirs Beach sign. Look for the yellow cabins on the property.

Museum Hours:

The Lake Winnipesaukee Museum is open Wednesday - Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm seasonally from mid-June through Columbus Day weekend. The museum closes for the winter and reopens for the summer season in mid-June.

“Souvenirs From the Past”
The lake has been a visitor destination for 150 years. View the collection of souvenir plates, paper weights, postcards and more from the 1870s to the 1980s.

“The Steamboat Era”
Steamboats were on the lake from 1833 to 1939, when the old Mount Washington Steamer burned at the Weirs. View photographs and artifacts from a variety of old steamboats, a working model of the old Mount, and a special collection of photographs showing the launching of the new Mount in 1940.

“Water Skiing on Winnipesaukee and the Weirs Ski Club”
Memorabilia, trophies and photos on display from the 1950’s show water ski tricks, tournaments, and national competitions.

“Summer Camps on Lake Winnipesaukee”
Seasonal boys and girls camps played a significant role in the history and heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee. At one time, over 100 such camps were on or around the lake and were typically run by educators or others interested in the physical and moral health of youth. Today about two dozen camps are in operation.

History of the Lake Winnipesaukee Museum

The Museum’s property is itself an historic landmark and represents an era which changed the way Americans spent their summer vacations --- an example of the tradition of hospitality vital to the area’s history and economy since the 1800’s.

The property was purchased in 1923 by David O’Shan, a lifelong resident and long-time state legislator, who first had a poultry farm on the site. In the 1930’s, he developed the property into a cabin colony - the second one built in Laconia - as a place for visitors to stay while in the area. “Mr. Veteran,” as he was known, named the cabin colony the “Y.D. Cabins” after the “Yankee Division” of the Army in which he served during World War I.

The Museum building is the original residence and the yellow cottages nearby are part of the original cabin colony. One of the buildings is from the former Shangrila Resort.

The Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society purchased the property in 1999 and spent five years developing and renovating the site. The Museum opened on a part-time basis in June 2004 and is now open.


Be sure to stop by and visit us soon!