As the Lady of the Lake was retired in 1893, before the postcard era began in 1901, no color images are available, except one.
Total Number of Images: 29
Last updated on 12/04/2011
Top Speed: 16mph
Passenger Capacity: 400
If one looks closely at these images, one can see on the prow of the vessel the figurehead of the Lady of the Lake. This lifesize statue now resides at the New Hampshire Historical Society's museum, in Concord.
Ship modeler David Warren of Melvin Village has built a 1/32 scale model of the Lady, which is currently on display at the Lake Winnipesaukee museum.
For more images of the Lady of the Lake, click here and scroll down. For an image of the Lady and the Mount side by side in Center Harbor, click here.
The distortion in the bow of the Lady in the above photo was caused during the scanning process (the photo spread across two separate pages of a book).
The Lady looks quite different in the above photos #13 and #14. The pilot house is squared off, not rounded; the smokestack has a bulge at the top; the semi-circular paddlewheel box is painted differently, with a large diamond shape; and the rear sundeck is shorter and squarer.
This was the original version of the vessel, which preceded a fire on November 13, 1867, while the Lady was berthed in Wolfeboro. After the fire caused severe damage, burning the Lady down to the waterline, she was rebuilt. Most photos of the Lady show her more elegant appearance that succeded the 1867 fire, or that followed after a more complete rebuilding in 1872.
Before her retirement in 1893, it was said that that virtually no original part of her survived, as she was overhauled and improved several times, including in 1882, when her hull was almost completely replaced while in drydock at Weirs Beach.
Below is another (partial) photo of the Lady, when one of her regular stops was at Diamond Island, the site of a popular hotel (and reputed gambling den). No doubt, the name of the Island was based on the diamond the Lady sported on her paddlewheel box.
The Winnipesaukee Steamboat Company, owners of the Lady, had purchased Diamond Island, and developed the hotel, adding bowling and even a dance hall. In 1880 the hotel was cut into sections and hauled across the ice to Weirs Beach. There the sections were reassembled as the Hotel Weirs.
There were actually two ships named the Lady of the Lake that coexisted at the same time. Clearly, the vessel seen above, in photo #16, is a different, larger Lady, for she sports two smokestacks, an upper-level passenger deck on the prow of the vessel, and a paddlewheel box with a different design.
From 1867-1917, this Lady plied the waters of Lake Memphremagog, which spans the US/Canadian border in Vermont and Quebec. So from 1867-1893 there were two Lady of the Lakes! Click here for some more views of the Lady of Lake Memphremagog.
Here is the only color image of the Lady we have come across so far. This is a colorized postcard, dating from around the 1910's, purportedly an 1880's image of the Lady docked at the wharf in Wolfeboro. However, its authenticity is in doubt - the Lady may have just been painted into an old photo of the Wolfeboro wharf.
Above, engravings from the July 30, 1859 issue of Ballou's Pictorial shows the Lady leaving Weirs Beach; and also leaving Wolfeborough. Initially, the Lady made one round trip a day from Wolfeboro; by 1890 the Lady was making three round trips a day, with stops at Long Island and Bear Island, as well as Alton Bay, Center Harbor, and Weirs.
According to the History of Wolfeborough by Benjamin Franklin Parker (published in 1901), the first captain of the Lady was William Walker, who designed the Lady, and was the majority owner before he sold his controlling interest to the BC&M railroad in 1851. Walker was captain for fifteen years, until 1862; then he was followed, in order, by the following captains: Eleazer Bickford, Winburn A. Sanborn, James Beede, S.B. Cole, then Captain Sanborn again, and finally, John S. Wadleigh.
The only serious accident during her nearly 50 years of service occurred in the 1860's, when she struck a rock on the Witches and was beached on Davis Island.
A 1976 bicentennial souvenir medallion shows a scene similar to the colorized postcard above.
Below, another view of the Lady of Lake Memphremagog
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