The best time to go beach WALKING is anytime. At dawn, the sun rises over the Ossipee Mountains, showering the beach in golden light of amber and ochre. At dusk, the setting sun illuminates the Ossipee Mountain range in indigo hues of violet and lavender.
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.
The Ossipee Mountains from the beach
Dusk over Weirs Bay
VIEWS TO THE NORTH FROM THE WEIRS CHANNEL BRIDGE
Click here to enlarge these views of the Weirs Channel and for several more north-looking views of the Weirs Channel from the 1950s-1960s.
VIEWS TO THE SOUTH FROM THE WEIRS CHANNEL BRIDGE
The Paugus Bay side of the Weirs Channel (below). Photo taken from the stone arch bridge
Compare the photo above, taken in 1999, to the similar postcards below, dating from 1906 & 1910! (For an interesting modern-day aerial shot of the Weirs Channel, click here.) In the first postcard, the Belle of the Isles is steaming South.
Below is a view of the channel looking North from Paugus Bay, taken around the same time as the two postcards above
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, 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.
HISTORY OF THE WEIRS CHANNEL BRIDGE
The first bridge to cross the Weirs Channel was built in 1780 and was made of wood. Several more wooden bridges were built, including the bridge in the drawing below, before 1883.
Click here to see a rare, stereoview photograph of the wooden bridge over the Weirs Channel.
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 the steel structure below in 1899.
The steel bridge that was built in 1899 over the Weirs Channel to carry electric trolley cars from Laconia to Weirs Beach. The trolley service continued until 1925. The type of bridge is a Pratt truss bridge. Invented in Boston in 1844, the Pratt truss is a common type of railroad bridge that can be constructed in various configurations.
The Laconia Street Railway open-air trolley heads north to Weirs Beach, while an early automobile heads south. The U.S. mailboat Uncle Sam passes underneath. Click here for a larger view and bonus pictures.
Early 1900’s views of the 1899 bridge shows how wide the Weirs Channel was at the time.
The trolley is just about to cross the bridge on its way to Laconia.