Lake Wicwas, Meredith Center, New Hampshire
After the Storm, July, 2011 -- Marie Dexter, all rights reserved.
Save the Islands of Lake Wicwas! -- By Dean Dexter
Bryant (aka Brandt) Island, with Sheep Island at left, Lake Wicwas, Meredith Center, NH, July 29, 2006 -- Dean Dexter photo, all rights reserved
Sheep Island at left showing grazing fields where sheep from Smith's Wicwas Lodge were taken by row-boat to pasture during the summer months, shown from the NH Route 104 side of the lake, summer 1955. Pictured: Norman M. Dexter, David and Dean Dexter and pet dog Skippy. -- Helen Robinson Smith Dexter photo.
A Century of Views from Sheep Island on Lake Wicwas
Sheep were pastured on Sheep Island, thus its name, from the mid-1800s to the early 1960s. The animals were transported from Smith's Landing, in the center foreground, by rowboat. Seen on the hill is Wicwas Lake House, replaced after a fire in 1935 by Wicwas Lodge, and is presently occupied by Lakeland School (see below). Postcard circa 1915. Dean Dexter Collection.
Wicwas Lodge from Smith's Landing, directly across from Sheep Island, Lake Wicwas, Meredith Center, New Hampshire circa 1947. From the archives, Kodachrome by Norman M. Dexter, all rights reserved.
Smith's Landing and view of Lakeland School (formerly Wicwas Lodge) from Sheep Island, Meredith Center, New Hampshire, July 30, 2006 -- Dean Dexter photo.
View from Sheep Island, August 1957
Bryant (aka Brandt) Island looking toward the northeast, Summer 2006 before site preparation for two approved house lots
August morning, Lake Wicwas, Meredith Center, New Hampshire -- Marie Dexter, August 2006 all rights reserved.
Lyzz Dexter with the 6.5 pound large mouth bass she caught off Sheep and Brandt Islands on Lake Wicwas, August 9, 2008 with her cousins Dr. Joe Morse and Mary Ann Morse Banker. Don't worry, Lyzz let the big boy go. She wants to try to land him again next summer, she says, "because he's such a good fighter." At least they think it's a "he."
Abigail Dexter appears bemused (i.e., would rather be listening to her IPOD) as her father holds forth about the moose, deer, loons, and politics of Lake Wicwas.
Access Dean Dexter's blog here.
Preserving Lake Wicwas
The late Belknap County Commissioner Joseph F. Smith (1884-1968), who served as a Meredith selectman, school board chairman and state representative, observes Bryant (aka Brandt or Chase Island) at Lake Wicwas, Meredith, N.H. in August 1964. Smith and his wife, Marian S. Smith, operated the Wicwas Lake House, and later Wicwas Lodge (pictured below) for over 50 years. The property is now known as Lakeland School. Smith was also a prominent Lakes Region lumber dealer and developer. An owner of most of the property on Wicwas Lake at one time or another, as well as large holdings in the Chemung section of the town and elsewhere, Smith developed Wicwood Shores on the south end of the lake in the early 1960s. Smith later sold the project to Dr. Robert Hamlin, a lawyer and medical doctor from Massachusetts who had bought one of Smith's cottages. Hamlin continued the development and in turn later arranged to transfer that portion of the land that was not buildable to the Town of Meredith, receiving compensation for the transfer under a federal grant program. That area is now preserved in its natural state and open to public use. To the right of Brandt Island pictured above are two other islands not shown, later owned by Norman M. Dexter and then noted conservationist Rawson Wood of Wolfeboro. Wood eventually donated them to the Town of Meredith as a gift. These three islands are situated but a short distance across the water from the Hamlin Natural Area. The Smith family grazed sheep each summer for generations on Sheep Island, moving sheep to the island by rowboat each summer and back to their barn on the hill each winter, thus the name. When the Smith's sold Sheep Island, they stipulated that it would remain undeveloped during their lifetimes. Present conservation-minded owners are voluntarily keeping this commitment since Smith's passing. If you are interested in participating in preserving this wonderful lake and surrounding property on behalf of present and future generations, you may contact the Wicwas Lake Association, or this website by writing: firstname.lastname@example.org -- Dean Dexter
Joseph F. Smith, left, with
Dr. Robert H. Hamlin and wife Beate, with son Andrew, Hamlin Cottage, Lake
Wicwas, Meredith, NH, summer 1965. Mrs. Hamlin's father, Werner Kraschewski, visiting from Berlin, Germany, is at right.
Belknap County Commissioner Joe Smith in his courthouse office, where he served for 30 years. A ski slope at Gunstock Ski Area and Resort is named in his honor. Smith represented the Town of Meredith in as a state legislator, served on the Meredith Board of Selectmen, and as a member of the Meredith (now Interlakes) School Board.
2008 Meredith Warrant Article Would Rob Citizens of Important Rights (update: this article was defeated)
New Hampshire Shorefront Association
New Hampshire Shoreline Protection Act
Lake Wicwas Association Home Page
Court Reverses Town Decision on Building on Wicwas Island -- Bea Lewis, The Citizen
Wicwas Lake Dispute Before NH Superior Court -- Bea Lewis, The Citizen
Lawsuit Puts Wicwas Island Development on Hold -- Bea Lewis, The Citizen
Wicwas Group: Island Building Permit Illegal -- Roger Amsden, The Union Leader
Wicwas Island Issue Heads to Court -- Bea Lewis, The Citizen
Wicwas Group Seeks to Buy Island -- Roger Amsden
Meredith ZBA Won't Hear Wicwas Appeal -- Bea Lewis, The Citizen
Meredith: Two Appeals Seek to Stop Island Development -- Kate Potterfield, The Meredith News
Selectmen Mull Access for Wicwas Island Development -- Bea Lewis, The Citizen
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