During the morning or afternoon, you should continue your walk to the stone bridge over the Weirs channel, from where you can observe the beach, the boat traffic below and the beautiful mountains in the distance.
Historical Postcards of Sunset On Lake Winnipesaukee
VIEWS TO THE NORTH FROM THE WEIRS CHANNEL BRIDGE
VIEWS TO THE SOUTH FROM THE WEIRS CHANNEL BRIDGE
A contemporary view of the Weirs Channel looking south. Photo taken on June 21, 2023. For an interesting modern-day aerial shot of the Weirs Channel, showing a traffic jam of boats, click here.
Historical postcards of the Weirs Channel looking south. In the first postcard, the Belle of the Isles is steaming away towards Paugus Bay. (Paugus Bay used to be called “Lake Paugus” and “Long Bay”.)
The Aquedoctan Stone Bridge over the Weirs Channel
Below is a photo of the current stone bridge (built in 1932) over the Weirs channel, as viewed from Endicott Rock Park. From the pedestrian sidewalk that crosses the bridge on its north-facing side, there are fine views of Weirs Bay, and the best viewing angle from Weirs Beach of the 4 peaks of the Sandwich mountain range – Mt. Paugus, Mt. Passaconaway, Mt. Whiteface, and Sandwich Mountain (r to l). For an absolutely spectacular panoramic view of the Weirs Bay, annotated with the names of all the individual peaks, click here. (Panorama courtesy of DCR)
In the 1933 postcard below, the U.S. mailboat Marshall Foch passes underneath the Aquedoctan Stone Bridge, built at a cost of about $80,000. Endicott Rock park was expanded in 1938 by partially filling in the Weirs Channel up to the Endicott Rock monument, at which time the 1901 steel footbridge to the monument was removed.
On each side of the bridge, there are two designated viewing areas that extend a couple feet further out than the rest of the bridge. The viewing areas are quite small, only about 4′ wide. The viewing areas on the south-facing side of the bridge are right next to the busy Route 3 roadway, so they are rarely used. The following plaque is next to one of the viewing areas off the sidewalk on the north-facing side of the bridge. It reads, “Below in the Channel, site of Indian fish weirs. To the right, site of Aquedoctan Indian village – 1652. To the left, site of log blockhouse built by the first white men.” The sign was erected by the Mary Butler chapter of the D.A.R.
History of the Weirs Channel Bridge
Click here to see several rare stereoview photographs – the earliest known photos of the bridge over the Weirs Channel – along with interesting information about these early wooden versions of the bridge.
This steel bridge, known as a lenticular truss bridge because of its curves that resemble a convex lens, was built over the Weirs Channel in 1883, at a cost of about $2000; but it was not built strong enough for the Laconia Street Railway trolley cars; and so it was replaced by a new steel structure in 1899.
Early 1900’s views of the 1899 bridge shows how wide the Weirs Channel was at the time. The Belle of the Isles is seen underneath the bridge.