Lakes Region “Firsts”!

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region has been first many times in history.

– The Lakes Region is credited with hosting the first organized youth summer camp. Ernest Balch opened Camp Chocorua on Chocorua Island on Big Squam Lake in 1881.

– Lake Winnipesaukee is home to America’s first and oldest floating post office. The Sophie C. one of many boats that have served as mail boats to island residents since 1892. To this day, the Sophie C. continues to deliver mail to 5 islands and provides a full-service post office…she also has a handy collection of ice cream novelty treats and snacks for passengers as they enjoy the ride.

– A Concord native, Levi Hutchins, invented the first alarm clock in 1787. His first alarm went off at 4 a.m.

– The oldest summer resort community in America is a title claimed by Wolfeboro. In 1768, Gov. John Wentworth built an estate in Wolfeboro that served as a summer resort for his friends and family. 

– The first “snow-train,” a Boston and Maine Railroad train sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Club, left Boston on Jan. 11, 1931, with 197 passengers, headed for Warner. 

– The first stagecoach in the nation in 1827, Lewis Downing and J. Stephens Abbot built the first Concord Coach in Concord.

– Christa McAuliffe of Concord was the first private citizen selected to venture into space, though she perished with her six crewmates in the Jan. 28, 1986, space shuttle Challenger disaster.

– Built in 1823, the Belknap Mill in Laonia has the oldest unaltered textile mill in the nation. The mill gas a working set of drive wheels and belts that illustrate the mechanics of the Industrial Age.