New Hotel Weirs, Weirs Beach, NH (3)

Another view of the New Hotel Weirs, from the railroad station across Lakeside Avenue around 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The scene in 2015:

The New Hotel Weirs, as seen in previous posts here and here, was first built in 1880, and subsequent additions in 1896, 1899, and 1905-06 resulted in its appearance in the first photo here.  It was a great location for a hotel in the days before widespread automobile use; guests needed to only step off the train and walk up the walkway from the station.  Just behind the photographer is Lake Winnipesaukee, so once guests arrived they would have enjoyed beautiful views of the lake from the hotel veranda.  Right next to the railroad station is the dock for the S.S. Mount Washington, so from here they could enjoy a sightseeing cruise and visit the other ports on the lake.

Today, the railroad is the only thing left from the first photo, and even it has changed over the years.  With nearly all visitors to the Lakes Region driving rather than taking a train, the station is no longer served by regular passenger trains; instead, the line is operated by the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, which offers excursion trains along the shore of the lake.  As for the New Hotel Weirs, it and a number of other buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1924, and the site was redeveloped with a motel, cottages, and an arcade.

New Hotel Weirs, Weirs Beach, NH (2)

Another view of the New Hotel Weirs on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach, around 1906-1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The location in 2015:

The first photo was taken sometime after 1906, when the New Hotel Weirs, as explained in this post, had another addition put on, this time to the left of the left tower.  The addition also included the Hotel Weirs Bazaar, which according to the sign over the right window offered “Souvenirs and post cards, novelties, cigars, cigarettes & tobacco, fine confectionery and Moxie, fishing tackle, rods, reels, hooks etc.” Other signs offer Indian baskets, “aluminum & Japanese goods,” Coca Cola, orangeade, phonographs, and post cards.  Visitors from New York could even keep up to date with a copy of the New York Herald.  As mentioned in the previous post, however, a disastrous fire on November 9, 1924 left much of Weirs Beach in ruins, including the hotel.  The site was later rebuilt as a motel and arcade, which is still there today.

New Hotel Weirs, Weirs Beach, NH (1)

The New Hotel Weirs on Lakeside Avenue in the Laconia village of Weirs Beach, around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The location in 2015:

The late 1800s was a period of great economic growth throughout much of the United States, allowing greater numbers of people the luxury of traveling and vacationing.  The era saw the construction of many large, resort-like hotels, and for the wealthy in the northeast, New Hampshire was a popular destination.  The Laconia village known as “The Weirs” was one such place. It is the place where the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee flow into Paugus Bay on their way to the Merrimack River, and its convenient location on the railroad line led to the construction of the Hotel Weirs in 1880, right across the street from the railroad station.

It was an age of great prosperity in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, and as other hotels continued to open, the Hotel Weirs expanded several times.  The original building was the far-left section, consisting of just the tower and several window bays on either side.  By the time the first photo was taken around 1905, the building had already seen two major additions in 1896 and 1899, and had been renamed the New Hotel Weirs.  It was a popular destination, and its guests included Theodore Roosevelt, who stayed at the hotel during a 1902 visit.

Over the winter of 1905-1906, probably the winter after the photo was taken, it was expanded even more, with another addition to the left of the original section.  However, like so many other grand hotels of its age, the New Hotel Weirs was destroyed in a fire, on November 9, 1924.  The same fire also destroyed a number of nearby buildings, and the hotel was not rebuilt.  The property was later redeveloped, and today it is the site of the Half Moon, which includes a motel, cottages, and arcades.