Fifth Way Down

The fifth way down to the Lake leads to the Winnipesaukee Pier. Head down the ramp, passing by several shops, and then, just before reaching the arcade, a set of stairs will lead down to East Coast Flightcraft, where you can rent a boat to further explore the lake (highly recommended).

The Winnipesaukee Pier on September 1, 2017.
A rainbow descends over Governor’s Island on July 8, 2017.


The fifth way down to the Lake, circa 1965. From left to right are seen a huge, Speedboat Rides sign; a shop selling gifts and souvenirs; Connors Karmelkorn & Ice Cream, and Bill’s Playland, an arcade. At the far right of the photo is the stairway to the marina. Click here for more photos and info about the marina at Irwin’s Winnipesaukee Gardens.

Irwin’s Winnipesaukee Gardens Ballroom opened on May 30, 1925, and for 50 years the most famous big bands in America played there. In 1973, the webmaster of this website saw the amazing – and unforgettable – Duke Ellington (1899-1974) at his very last Weirs Beach performance. In 1976 the big band era ended forever in Weirs Beach, as the ballroom that once accommodated “2000 dancers” was converted to an arcade, along with a name change to the Winnipesaukee Pier. (This was the name of the former boating facility that had occupied the site from 1910-1924, before the Winnipesaukee Gardens had been built.)

The footbridge seen in the postcard below led to a public bandstand. Built in the late 1920’s, the bandstand and footbridge were gone by the late 1950’s. From 1980-2016, a miniature golf course occupied the site of the bandstand.

Notice the “Beano” sign on the far left of the above postcard. In the USA, Beano was a game played at county fairs. A dealer would select numbered discs from a cigar box, and players would mark their cards with beans. In 1929, Edwin S. Lowe commercialized the game, changed its name to Bingo, and sold packaged game boards and cards. Lowe later went on to have another huge game hit in Yahtzee, which he introduced in 1956.

Below are photos of the original Winnipesaukee Pier. Click here for many more photos and info about the original Winnipesaukee Pier. Built in 1910 by H.H. Buffum, this pier only lasted 15 years before it was replaced by the current structure.


Below, the Hotel Weirs wharf (circa 1885-1910), which preceded the original Winnipesaukee Pier. Click here for many more additional photos and info.