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Photography by Walter Cowan

Walter Cowan

 

Walter Cowan first came to Lake Sunapee as a youngster with his family in 1961 and fell in love with this beautiful area. He can recall his parents having a family gathering there in the year 1962 and two of the relatives arriving by steam engine locomotive train at Newbury Station.

For many summers the family returned to the beautiful Sunapee region and, as a result, Walter, who had become an amateur photographer, began taking scenic slides.

Walter has continued coming to Lake Sunapee on a regular basis over a 55 year span. During this time he has collected numerous brochures and publications about the area. In 1979, he purchased the newly developed Canon AE-1 35 millimeter camera which revolutionized the camera industry.

For many years Walter used his Canon AE-1 to take numerous scenic slides of the Lake Sunapee area, including sites and places which no longer exist. Later Walter incorporated video photography in his work which included his own narration from all the information he had gathered and learned.

Shown below are eleven of Walter's favorite slides which he took during a 4 year span from 1979 to 1982. He has many more special photos and video which he plans to publish.

 

MV Kearsarge Dinner Boat at dockside in Sunapee Harbor
MV Kearsarge Dinner Boat at dockside in Sunapee Harbor
with Ticket Office painted red and white

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This majestic boat was a replica of the great steamboat ships on Lake Sunapee of a bygone era which ended in the early 1900's. You will notice the paddle wheel on the rear of the ship which propelled it during the dinner cruise. The MV Kearsarge Dinner Boat provided two evening cruises with a narration of Lake Sunapee along with a sumptuous dinner. You would pick up your tickets at the red and white Ticket Office where you were greeted by an elegantly dressed hostess. The staff on board the Dinner Boat was so caring and courteous to you in serving your meal and providing a most memorable time. This photo was taken in August 1979.

 

The Woodbine Cottage in Sunapee Harbor
The Woodbine Cottage in Sunapee Harbor

This elegant restaurant was part of the great history of Sunapee Harbor. It was family owned and operated. The Woodbine Cottage served luncheon, dinner, and afternoon tea at specific seating times. Reservations were a must as all of the seatings were sold out. The host, hostess, and entire staff were impeccably dressed. The restaurant itself had beautiful wood carved cabinets, chairs, tables and fine chinaware. The menu consisted of gourmet meals, carefully prepared. The outside was landscaped with beautiful flowers. When you entered the front of the Woodbine Cottage you would experience its magnificent gift shop with exquisite crafts, beautiful trinkets, souvenirs and special gifts. This photo was taken in August 1980.

 

Red Boathouse on Great Island
Red Boathouse on Great Island

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Great Island Red Boathouse Mousepad

This photo of a red boathouse was taken on an absolutely perfect weather day. You will notice the bright red boathouse with its bright red boat garage on the shoreline of the beautiful blue waters of Lake Sunapee with the tall green pine trees and light blue sky. This boathouse and garage were built on Grand Island in year 1904 and primarily used during the summer. This particular photographic scene is one of those perfect scenic views. This photo was taken in August 1980.

 

Red Cable Car on Mount Sunapee
Red Cable Car on Mount Sunapee

This breathtaking scene was taken from the top of Mount Sunapee on a perfect weather day. I took one of the cable cars to the top of the Mountain and then hiked to a higher elevation. I then waited for a descending red cable car in order to capture the perfect colorful portrait. Notice the panoramic view of the land and waterways below and the mountains in the distance. This red cable car, which had a capacity of approximately 4 people, provides the perfect balance and contrast to this scenic photo. This photo was taken in August 1979.

 

Herrick Cove Lighthouse
Herrick Cove Lighthouse

This lighthouse shown on the blue waters of Lake Sunapee with large pine trees in the background was one of three lighthouses on the lake which were essential for night time navigating. Herrick Cove Lighthouse was solar powered by way of a battery which was charged and powered by the daytime sunlight. This photo was taken in August 1982.

 

MV Kearsarge Dinner Boat at dockside in Sunapee Harbor
MV Kearsarge Dinner Boat at dockside in Sunapee Harbor
with new design for the 1980s

This dinner boat, as described in the other photo of it in this collection, provided two evening dinner cruises with a narration of Lake Sunapee along with a sumptuous dinner. You would pick up your tickets at the red and white Ticket Office where you were treated like royalty by the elegantly dressed hostess and staff on board. If you notice, compared to the other photo which was taken one year earlier, the back end of the boat was closed in and new windows added. Therefore, there was no visible paddle wheel which was symbolic of the steamboat era. This photo was taken in August 1980.

 

Loon Island Lighthouse
Loon Island Lighthouse

This lighthouse, standing on a small island in the middle of Lake Sunapee, was another of the lake's three lighthouses which were essential for night time navigating. Again, notice the beautiful blue waters of Lake Sunapee along with Mount Sunapee in the background. As with Glen Cove Lighthouse, Loon Lighthouse was solar powered with its battery charged and powered by the daytime sunlight. This photo was taken in August 1981.

 

Lake Sunapee Yacht Club
Lake Sunapee Yacht Club

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Lake Sunapee Yacht Club Mousepad

This is how the Lake Sunapee Yacht Club looked over 35 years ago. Its mast and many other features remain the same today. Again, notice the beautiful blue waters of Lake Sunapee and the tall green pine trees on the shoreline. This photo was taken in August 1979.

 

Herrick Cove Lighthouse
Herrick Cove Lighthouse

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Herrick Cove Lighthouse Mousepad

This view was photographed closer to Herrick Cove Lighthouse with a sail boat in the distance. This photo was taken in August 1979.

 

Herrick Cove Lighthouse
Herrick Cove Lighthouse

This is a different view of Herrick Cove Lighthouse which again reflects the rich blue waters of Lake Sunapee and shoreline pine trees and also includes Mount Sunapee in the background. This photo was taken in August 1982.

 

The Dock Pub in Sunapee Harbor painted bright red
The Dock Pub in Sunapee Harbor painted bright red

The Dock Pub (now a different color and named The Anchorage) was a center of activity, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The windows along the dock provided beautiful scenery of the lake and homes along the shoreline which were so wonderful to view while enjoying your meal. Upon entering The Dock, the left side was a general store to which people would walk or drive their cars and boats in order to buy their morning newspaper, candy, and snacks. In addition, on that left side The Dock served the most delicious ice cream cones, sodas, candy and shakes. It was a real treat to reside in the harbor and walk amidst the scent of large pine trees to The Dock, whether it was for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or ice cream. This photo was taken in August 1980

 

 

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