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HISTORY OF PEYTON PLACE

The Peyton Place Motel on Weirs Boulevard, circa 1960. In 1956, Gilmanton author Grace Metalious’s novel Peyton Place, a fictionalized portrayal of scandalous lives set in a small town in the Lakes Region (purportedly based on elements of the towns of Gilmanton, Gilford, Alton, and Laconia), became a 59-week NY Times best seller. In late 1957, a film based on the novel was released. The film became the second highest grossing film of 1958, and garnered nine Oscar nominations. In September, 1964, a TV soap opera based on the novel began, and continued for 514 episodes, not ending until June of 1969.

Metalious attempted to profit on her financial success by investing in the Little Cape Codders Motel (photo below) on Weirs Boulevard, going so far as to change the name of the lodging establishment to the Peyton Place Motel, with the sign even emulating the same typeface as the cover of the first edition of her novel. In the 1970’s, the entire complex was torn down to make way for the Four Seasons condominiums. Click here for a circa 1945 photo of the Little Cape Codders.