The Clow Sisters’ Gift House
The Clow Sisters Gift House was one of the original and best loved gift shops in the area. Their first location, opened in 1917, was in the Moulton Opera House in downtown Laconia, where they had a shop on the second floor and a first floor display window looking onto Water Street. Beginning around 1933, the gift shop (photos seen below) was located near Lakeport Square, at 678 Union Avenue, in the vicinity of its intersection with Bridge Street. On January 18, 1947, a fire that started next door at the Tyler Sign company spread to the gift shop, destroying 8 of the 12 gift rooms. The shop was rebuilt. New owners took over the shop in the early 1950s, and continued to run it until the mid-1960s, when it was torn down. The location is now the parking lot for Belknap Tire.
A real menagerie of animals decorated the side of the house. A camel, elephant, and cat can be seen here.
Below – from Our Yesterdays by Warren Huse, The Citizen, August 30, 2008. 75 YEARS AGO (1933):
The Clow Sisters Twelve Room Gift House
Bessie Clow and her sisters were also well known for publishing a series of souvenir booklets called “Ripples Around the Lake”, circa 1916-1924. The following sample is from 1919.