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: A History of the Town of Wolfeborough, New Hampshire, by Benjamin Franklin Parker, 1901, 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. Mr. and Mrs. James Carr purchased the property in the early 1930s, and turned it into a high-end summer guest house called Carr House. As with many lodging facilities in the United States, Carr House closed during World War II and reopened in 1945.
The Carrs sold the property in 1959. The new owners renamed it The Wolfeboro Inn and opened it year-round. It was purchased by Paul and Mary McBride in 1962. 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 to expand the property were soon underway. The owners purchased adjacent property on Sewall Road and demolished an existing guest house to make room for an addition.
In 1988 a three-story addition was completed, 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.
Steamboat Station, Wolfeboro
The town was granted by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1759 to four young men of Portsmouth, and named Wolfeborough in honor of English General James Wolfe, who had been victorious at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. In 1763, 2,300 acres (930 ha) were added to the 60 acres (24 ha) reserved for the governor. Colonial Governor John Wentworth, his nephew, established an estate on the site, known as Kingswood. Built in 1771 beside what is now called Lake Wentworth, this was the first summer country estate in northern New England. Settled in 1768, the town was incorporated in 1770. Source: Wikipedia
Wolfeboro began as a farming community. Lumber and apple products were a large part of early industry. Wolfeboro Falls was known as "Slab City" for its volume of wood production. Wood production was a major local industry until the early 20th century.
For many years lakefront Wolfeboro was not the center of town. Communities developed around trade and industrial centers that were located near stage routes and rail lines in east and north Wolfeboro. In addition to lumber and agriculture, Wolfeboro has produced shoes, woolen blankets, clay pipes. excelsior, and pewter. Source: www.americasfirstresort.net
The extension of railroad lines into Wolfeboro shifted focus from production to tourism. The community's natural beauty, charm, and proximity to multiple lakes--Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Wentworth, and Crescent Lake--still make it a popular destination, the Jewel of Lake Winnipesaukee.