Winnepisiogee Lake [Lake Winnipesaukee], New Hampshire
This lake possesses singular charms. However romantic and beautiful Lake George, the charmer of all travelers, appears in its elevation, the purity of its waters, its depth, its rapid outlet, its 365 islands which bespangle its bosom, its mountain scenery, its fish, its mineralogy; still in all, but its historic fame, it has a rival at the east in the Winnepisiogee of New Hampshire.
There are more than forty different ways of spelling the name of this lake. It was formerly written as though it had six syllables, but the pronunciation which has generally obtained with those best acquainted with the region of the lake, and the Indian pronunciation of the name, was Win-ne-pe-sock-e. The following authorities show this:
Winnapusseakit: Sherman and Ince's Report, 1652.
Winnipesocket: Bartlett's Narrative, 1708.
Winnipissocay: Penhallow's Wars, 1726.
Winaposawgue: Canterbury charter, 1727.
Winnepissocay: Petition, 1733.
Winnipeshoky: Petition, 1744.
Winnepesocket: Stevens' Journal, 1746.
Winepesocky: Surveyor Clement, 1746.
Winipiseoce: Theodore Atkinson, 1746.
Winnepesacket: Governor Shirley, 1747.
Winipesockee: Bryant's Journal, 1747.
Winnapessocket: Map of New Hampshire, 1750.
Winipisoky: Hon. George Boyd, 1785.
Winnepisiogee: The present mode of spelling, pronounced Winipisoky, or Win-ne-pe-sock-e.
This lake is situated in the county of Strafford. Its form is very irregular. At the west end it is divided into three large bays; on the north is a fourth; and at the east end there are three others. Its general course is from N.W. to S.E.; its length is about 22 miles, and it varies in width from one to ten miles. This lake is environed by the pleasant towns of Moultonborough, Tuftonborough, Wolfeborough, Centre Harbor, Meredith, Gilford, and Alton, and overlooked by other delightful towns.
The waters of Winnepisiogee are remarkably pure and its depth in some places is said to be unfathomable. Its sources are principally from springs within its bosom. Its outlet is the rapid river of its own name. Its height above the level of the sea is 472 feet. It is stored with a great variety of excellent fish: in the summer season, steam boats, sloops and smaller vessels ply on its waters, and in the winter season it presents an icy expansion of great usefulness and beauty.
Like Casco bay and Lake George, this lake is said to contain 365 islands. Without supposing the days of the year to have been consulted on the subject, the number is very great; several of which comprise farms of from 200 to 500 acres.