For 149 years, a New Hampshire vacation tradition has been the big cruise boat that plies scenic Lake Winnipesauke in the mountains in the middle of the state.
Here’s the dope.
- It started out as a paddle steamer in 1872, built by the Boston & Maine Railroad Company to transport passengers and cargo around the lake.
- It soon became a tourist attraction, drawing 60,000 passengers a year, a figure that continues.
- That vessel burned in 1939 while tied up at dock and a fire spread from a train station.
- The current incarnation of the M/S Mount Washington is 230-feet long and has four decks. Maximum capacity is 1,250.
- The current vessel started out in 1888 as an iron-hulled sidewheeler on Lake Champlain. In 1940, it was cut apart in Vermont and shipped by rail to Lakeport, New Hampshire, where the hull was reassembled in a new twin-screw vessel design. It was powered by two steam engines (since replaced by diesel) taken from an ocean-going yacht.
- There are three dance floors. It seats 500 for dining or serves one thousand for a reception. Two-hour dinner-dance cruises are popular.
- It has five ports of call – Weirs Beach, Wolfeboro, Center Harbor, Meredith, and Alton.
- The M/S stands for motor ship.
- The views include the summer homes of many billionaires as well as mountains and at least 264 islands.
- The line also runs two smaller vessels, one of them a mail boat where the envelopes are actually sorted en route.