Sunapee Historical Society

Mission & Beginnings

The Sunapee Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the town of Sunapee, located on the shores of beautiful Lake Sunapee. From a colonial farming community, Sunapee became a glorious summer resort with grand hotels and steamboat service in the 1880s to 1930s. Our mission is to preserve and present the rich history of our town to the public.

A historical society for Sunapee was first proposed during the Town’s 1968 bicentennial celebration and was organized in 1970 by Charles Hill, Joseph and Jo Hill, Mrs. Harry Barnes, Bill and Eileen Stocker, Charles Boyce, and others. The Society was incorporated in 197_.

In April 1980, Fay H. Osborne donated the former Flander’s Stable in Sunapee Harbor, built by his great-grandfather, Wallace W. Flanders, as home and museum for the society. Restoring the building took the volunteer efforts of many individuals, with Fay Osborne and Norman Perkins leading the way. Unfortunately, Fay did not live to see the museum’s opening during the summer of 1983, but the building and its collection endures, as does Fay’s spirit and dedication to preserving the graceful, slower paced, way of life that once thrived in Sunapee.

PICTURE OF BARN, PICTURE OF FAY OSBORNE

Our collection includes documents, photographs and historical items, including the Enos Clough engine for the horseless carriage, Fairy Queen and many artifacts from Sunapee’s grand hotel and steamboat era and earlier manufacturing era when the Sugar River powered more than 20 industries in Sunapee.