The following engraving was first printed in the 1874, second edition of "Bachelder's Illustrated Tourist's Guide of The United States - Popular Resorts and How to Reach Them". John B. Bachelder's guidebook was first published in Boston in 1873. The first edition was really two books in one, as it had extensive coverage of Gettysburg ("What to See, and How to See It") for its first 150 pages. Only about 75 pages of the first edition were devoted to the rest of the USA. The first edition did not include an engraving of Weirs Landing. The second edition dropped the coverage of Gettysburg (for which Bachelder became famous) and devoted its nearly 200 pages to travels across the USA (primarily the Northeastern US). There was a third edition in 1875 and a fourth in 1876. It is not known if there were any more editions published after that.



The following engraving is the oldest depiction of Weirs Beach that you will find anywhere on this website. It was printed in the July 30th, 1859 issue of Ballou's Pictorial. The engraving depicts the Lady of the Lake leaving Weirs Beach. Clearly shown in the engraving are the original train station and a ramp leading down to the Lake. No other buildings appear in the engraving. Development of Weirs Beach not yet begun.



This is a very rare, circa 1869 photograph of the original Weirs Beach train station. It was part of a stereoview (#351) by the Kilburn Brothers. In 1869, Lakeside Avenue was a meadow! The street was probably cleared of brush in the mid or late 1870's. On January 5, 1883, the Laconia Democrat newspaper reported, "At the Weirs, the new road from the railroad bridge to Doe's brickyard is under good headway." The road was initially called Railroad Avenue, and it was completed by the end of May, 1883. It is unknown exactly when the street was renamed Lakeside Avenue, but by 1910, the new name was well established.







Below, a drawing from a viewbook of the White Mountains published by the Wittemann Bros., 184 William St, New York, shows the Lady of the Lake steaming away from the original train station and wharf.
The viewbook was copyrighted in 1877 by "Lindsey & French, Fabyan House, White Mountains, NH", with "Photo-Lith" by Louise Glaser.



Identical to the drawing above, the later version below uses the alternate spelling of Lake Winnipesaukee and was published in 1882, also by the Wittemann Bros. However, the drawing was not accurately depicting the Weirs Beach of that time, as by 1882 the second train station and Railroad Avenue had already been built.



Another view of the original train station (right edge of picture), from a distance, shows the Lady at her dock. The house in the center of the picture is unknown.



Here is another stereoview of Weirs Beach from the Kilburn Brothers, No. 761: "Depot and Boat Landing, (Weirs.)" It is a "cabinet size" stereoview of the 2nd railroad station and the Lady of the Lake, early 1880's, showing the cargo railroad spur that descended under the railroad station. This stereoview is taller than the normal stereoview.

"In the late 1870's, taller [stereoview] cards and images (often called cabinet size) became popular in the stereoscopic trade. The sales pitch was that they gave the customer a larger image to look at, but in practice the top part of the taller image could only be seen with great difficulty in the standard stereoviewer. This shortcoming soon became apparent to users and the format was abandoned in the late 1880s with a return to the conventional-sized stereoview. In any event, [Benjamin] Kilburn followed the trend for a relatively short period, roughly 1877 to 1883, issuing a substantial group in this format." - T.K. Treadwell, from "The Photographic Images issued by the Kilburn Company", published by the Institute for Photographic Research, Monograph Series, #5, Sixth Edition, January, 2002.



Kilburn stereoview #757, "Weirs Landing, (Lake Winnipiseogee.)", also a cabinet size card, shows the ramp leading down from the 2nd train station to the Lady of the Lake wharf. The original, unexpanded Hotel Weirs is seen in the background.





Kilburn stereoview #759, "Lake Winnipiseogee, from Hotel Weirs", also a cabinet size card, shows the 2nd train station in its entirety and the Lady docked at her wharf. In the bottom left corner of the card a horse and carriage passes by; we also see part of a fountain on the lawn of the Hotel Weirs. The tall turret of the Hotel is casting a shadow which is seen just behind the horse and carriage.





Another, alternate version of Kilburn stereoview #759 shows the passenger train ready to depart Weirs Station. Once again we see the turret of the Hotel Weirs casting its long shadow.



A cabinet version of Kilburn stereoview #353, "Lady of the Lake", shows the Lady of the Lake docked at Weirs Beach. A large woodpile is visible in the foreground, while Stonedam Island can be seen off in the distance. (The card was later reissued with a different picture and title as 353. "Lady of the Lake", Lake Winnipeseogee. See #6 in the Lady of the Lake Image Collection on this website for the reissued picture.)







Here is an earlier issue of the #353 card, perhaps the first issue. As can be seen on the reverse, the card dates to August of 1869.





Kilburn stereoview #355, "Lake Winnipiseogee", probably taken at the same time as #351 and #353 above, shows a stone wall, a field, and a sliver of the Lake. The photo was taken from the farm that 10 years later became the grounds of the Winnecoete hotel, and a hundred years later, the Village at Winnipesaukee condiminium development. It shows, just beyond the farm houses, a tree-covered hill steeply sloping into Weirs Bay. This was Tower Hill in 1869, just prior to when real development of Weirs Beach began.



A somewhat similar view, taken about 40 years later, shows Lawrence Manor in the foreground, and the Mount Washington steamer in Weirs Bay.



Here' a postcard with a similar view to the above. Note the rare view of the New Hotel Weirs from the rear. Nearly all other views of the Hotel show its front side. Also note Governors Island in the background of the postcard. Currently the island is heavily forested (between the many expansive private homes), but at the time of this postcard, nearly the entire island was field and farm.