In 1779, William Rogers bought a parcel of land from David Sewall for four pounds of spring beaver fur. William Rogers' son Nathaniel built a house on that land in 1812, a house that would become the Wolfeboro Inn and Wolfe's Tavern.
For 75 years it remained a private home to the Rogers family. In the late 1860s a 12-mile rail line was proposed from Wolfeborough (Sanbornville) Junction to Wolfeboro. In August 1872, the first locomotive delivered five passenger cars to the sleepy lakeside town, changing it forever. The track was extended across Main Street to connect with steamboat traffic from Lake Winnipesaukee. As tourist traffic increased, the Rogers home started to provide lodging and food to travelers from Boston and beyond. Source: History of the Town of Wolfeborough, New Hampshire - Benjamin Franklin Parker - 1901 - pp.511-512 - Reprinted in 1988 - American Offset Printers - Los Angeles, as reproduced with photos and other materials on Winnipesaukee Forum
In the 1920s H.R. Carlisle bought the Rogers home and operated a restaurant and gift shop called The Copper Kettle. The the early 1930s, Mr. and Mrs. James Carr purchased the property and turned it into a high end guest house called Carr House, open only during the summer months. As with many lodging facilities in the United States, Carr House closed during World War II and reopened in 1945.
The inn changed hands a few times, was renamed Wolfeboro Inn and by the 1950s was open year-round. It was purchased by Paul and Mary McBride in the early 1960s. The McBrides were energized by the inn's potential and after just a few years the inn's cuisine was featured in Holiday Magazine. Plans for an addition to the property began, and a church on Sewall Road was demolished in preparation.
In 1987 a three-story addition was built, offering suites and views of the lake. In 2007 the inn was purchased by Hay Creek Hotels, a small hotel company owned by two New England natives. The property received a $5 million renovation in 2009.
In 1759, three men sat in a tavern in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to carve a town from the northeastern shore of Lake Winnipesogee, the original spelling of Lake Winnipesaukee. Having laid out its boundaries, they realized they needed a name. After much discussion over tall mugs of ale and rum, they decided on "Wolfeborough" in honor of the most famous general of their time, General James Wolfe. Wolfe, a British general, had recently died in the arms of his officers on the Plains of Abraham, having defeated the French under Montcalm at the Battle of Quebec.
Today, Wolfeboro is known as The Jewel of Lake Winnipesaukee. While General Wolfe never passed through the town that bears his name, it was the summer home of colonial Governor John Wentworth, who had great interest in developing the area following his arrival in 1759.
Local cobblers made boots and shoes here in Wolfeboro's early days and during the civil war, many farmers had small shops near their homes where they made boots for Union soldiers.