Second Weirs Beach Train Station (1880-1892)

The architect of the second, 1880-1892 train station was Arthur L. Davis, who also designed the Hotel Weirs. When Davis passed away on April 18, 1922 at the age of 91, he was considered one of the best known architects and builders in the city.

Here is a 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.

Below, a very similar stereoview to the above, after the Weirs Cafe Photographed by F.J. Moulton. The rear of this stereoview is dated August 8, 1887.
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.
Here’s a photo of the station and Lady taken by the Weirs Photograph Company (F.J. Moulton and T.C. Moon).
Here’s another Moulton photo, with a view of the street and boardwalk.
Here’s a Moulton stereoview photo of what may be a veterans gathering opposite the second train station. Lakeside Avenue is just a wandering cart path at this time. The Hotel Weirs is just out of view on the right side of the photo. The photo is dated 1883 or later, as the 1883 NHVA arc sign can be seen to the far right of the photo.
Here’s a very similar photo taken just a few years later. The second train station has been replaced with the third train station.
A view of Lakeside Avenue in the 1880s.
A photo taken by the Weirs Photograph Company (F.J. Moulton and T.C. Moon) shows the second station and a group of soldiers in formation.

Here’s a view from the rooftop of the second station looking North. Photo taken by F.J. Moulton. The wooden bridge over Centenary Avenue can be clearly seen in the distance, dating the bridge from circa the 1880s. The Centenary Avenue bridge was rebuilt in 1940. A new deck was installed in 2016. The bridge is currently slated for replacement in 2025 or 2026 by the NH DOT. The bridge is made of timber beams and trestles set on concrete and stone footings and with mortared cut stone abutments. It is the only historic wooden bridge remaining in Laconia.

In this stereoview by “Lake Winnipeseogee Views”, a crowd is gathered at the station. The Lady of the Lake is docked behind.

A similar photo to the above. In this photo, an extension of the waiting area is seen partially constructed.

Here’s an engraving of the second train station, captioned “Weirs Station B. and L. R.R. and Lake Winnepesaukee”. This engraving appeared in a 12-page, accordion-folding picture book entitled “Picturesque New Hampshire”, published by Chisholm Bros in the early 1880s. At this time, the Boston & Lowell Railroad serviced the Weirs station. In the engraving, we can see the boardwalk, the station, and the Lady of the Lake steamship. Out in Weirs Bay, the original Mount Washington steamship is also shown – but it seems enormous, way out of scale. Very curiously, on the left shore one can see what looks like another steamer under construction, with a round paddlewheel box clearly visible.

This engraving appeared again, years later, in an undated view book, “Chisholm Bros., Portland, Me. Sole Agents for Chas. Frey’s Original Souvenir Albums”, and was retitled “Weirs Station C&M R.R. Lake Winnipesaukee”. The second version of the engraving featured ornate floral decorations to each side of the engraving.

Here’s another engraving of the second train station, from the New England Music Festival, July 1-4, 1884.
Here’s yet another engraving featuring the station. Unlike the above two engravings, the point of view is from the Lake. Also seen is the Lady of the Lake, and the Hotel Weirs (on the far left), with Brickyard Mountain looming over the entire scene. The engraving was drawn by J. Warren Thyng and appeared in his 1882 Lake-Country Sketches.

An 1880s photo of the Second Train Station taken from the Lake. Showing the Weirs Cafe as well. Behind the Cafe, the roof of the Lakeside House pokes through the trees. To the left of the boardwalk, there are nothing but trees, showing the undeveloped nature of Lakeside Avenue at the time.

Taken at the same time as the above photo, this one shows Endicott Rock, the lake boulder on the left.

A stereoview of the Lady by E.D. Ward of Lake Village (Lakeport) similar to the following Kilburn stereoview.
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 are two postcards 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 postcards. Currently the island is heavily forested (between the many expansive private homes), but at the time of these postcards, nearly the entire island was field and farm.