Lakes Region Events

Ice Out on Lake Winnipesaukee!

This should be the week! Temperature gauges are indicating that the water temperature in Lake Winnepesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest lake, is at 41 degrees F. This is typically the temperature at which the big lake is finally freed from its ice-bound prison.
Steve and Carol, like other Lakes Region residents, eagerly await “Ice-Out” as it signals the end of winter and the start of spring. It is also the unofficial start of boating season, and how everyone longs to be back on the water!  "Ice-Out" is official when the ice that has covered the lake since late December has melted enough so that the lake’s signature cruise ship, the M/S Mount Washington, can navigate between Alton Bay, Center Harbor, Weirs Beach, Meredith and Wolfeboro. It does not mean that the ship will get underway, just that it could if it wanted to. Ice-out means islanders can return to their cottages, and soon the summer people will head back to check on their camps.
The date for ice-out has been observed and recorded for more than 130 years. The earliest date for ice-out was March 23, 2012, and the latest was May 12, 1888. Initially, the ice-out date was noted by those on land, but in the 1980s it started being recorded by plane as local pilot Alan Emerson of Emerson Aviation did a fly-over. Since 2002 his son, Dave, has taken over the task. As signs of spring appear, Dave flies over the lake several times a day, checking the breakup of the ice at each of the lake’s main ports. When he makes the ice-out call, that means it is official!
There are several contests people can enter to see who guesses the ice-out date correctly. One is run by PSNH (now Eversource) and the other is posted at, where you can also see daily photos of the ice.
Rumors are flying that this could be the week, and Steve and Carol, along with other lake fans, are hoping it’s true. It’s been a long winter and everyone is ready for that season to fade away. With the lake back to clear, blue water, summer is just a warm day away! We hope to see you at the lake!

It's Maple Sugaring Time in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

The snow may still lay deep here in the Lakes Region, but the maple sap is flowing, and the time for “sugaring off” has begun. For the next six weeks, the “sugar men” will work night and day to harvest “liquid gold” from the trees. To Steve and Carol, and all who live in northern New England, this is one of the true signs of spring.
In the old days, maple sugar farmers headed to the woods with teams of horses, and the sap was collected in buckets. With thousands of trees being tapped, this was back-breaking work.
Today, most large-scale sugar maple farms are networked into pipelines, with each tree’s taps connected into one overall system. Farmers then use a vacuum method to collect the sap. This process doesn’t pull the sap from the trees, but rather changes the pressure within the pipeline so that the sap flows more freely, even under colder conditions. From the pipelines, the sap goes through a reverse osmosis system, which streamlines the separation process. The reverse osmosis machine forces the sap, under pressure, through a series of membranes, which separate the water from the sugar--about 60 gallons of water are taken out at this time. From there, roughly eight gallons of sugar concentrate goes into the evaporator, where it is boiled down to make about one gallon of syrup.
Every night during the season, sugar houses are in full swing, working against the clock to boil down as much sap as possible and make room for the next batch flowing in. Most houses boil for about four to five hours every night--and this is after the farmers have spent a full day in the field. On average, it takes 40 gallons of sap for every gallon of syrup--a lot of labor for that one yield of sweetness.
While many farms now use oil-fired evaporators, a wood-fired one is still the tradition, and still found at a number of New Hampshire farms. Using a wood-fired evaporator takes a lot of wood, but keeps another aspect of the state’s “sugar season” heritage alive.
If you have not experienced it, Steve and Carol invite you to come to New Hampshire for Maple Sugar weekend, held this year on March 28th and 29th. During this weekend, sugar houses all over the state will be open. Visitors can see how the sugaring off is done, enjoy fresh maple syrup and other maple products (think cotton candy, soft serve and much more), savor farmer’s breakfasts, and at some farms, experience horse-drawn trips into the woods.  The “sweet season” is just another reason why we love to call the Lakes Region home.   

Irish Music Performers Grainne Murphy and Kathleen Boyle at Tuftonboro's Old White Church

Tuftonboro's Old White Church

The venue for some of the finest Irish music anywhere

Greg and Terri Heppe proprietors of the Tuftonboro General Store and devoted to bringing traditional Irish musicians and music to the Old White Church across from their store have done it again! On Sunday, April 1st at 4:30 two performers from Cherish the Ladies, Grainne Murphy and Kathleen Boyle bring their traditional Irish sound to Tuftonboro and into this beautiful circa 1839 church.
Boston native fiddle player

The venue for some of the finest Irish music anywhere

Ms. Murphy, a Boston native, plays fiddle with the flare and flash of the best of the traditional Irish fiddlers. Ms. Boyle hails from Glasgow and plays both piano and piano accordion with sensitivity and energy.
Irish piano and piano accordion

The venue for some of the finest Irish music anywhere

They pair up to bring you music that will touch the soul, move the spirit and leave you feeling that all is well this day in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire. They will be playing music from their recent solo albums, and CD's should be available to purchase. Tickets are $18 and the doors open at 4:00. For more information contact Greg and Terri at 603.569.9859 or email

Great Waters Music Festival 2012 Concert Series

Having had the privilege to serve on the Great Waters Music Festival program committee, I can now say with great pride that this wonderful group of people have put together an exciting package of musical concerts coming to the Wolfeboro area starting on July 6th. Back by popular demand is Neil Berg's 101 Years of Broadway on July 6th.
Listen to the hits of Broadway in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on July 6th

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

If you saw Neil Berg during last season's concert series you will know what I'm talking about. The biggest moments of 101 Years of Broadway will be brought to the New Kingwood Regional High School auditorium, and will feature shows like Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and so many more. On July 13th, Great Waters Music Festival presents a free community concert, but you must get a ticket as there is limited seating, to the United States Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band. Once again Great Waters hosts one of our country's finest armed forces ensembles in an evening of wonderful music. The Great Waters Music Festival Chorus and Orchestra perform on August 4th. This concert will be directed by Christopher Shepard and will feature a professional orchestra supporting a chorus of exquisite voices. If you love choral music than you will not want to miss this musical event.
Andy Cooney comes to Great Waters Music Festival on August 10th.

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

August 10th features an evening with Andy Cooney, "Irish America's Favorite Son". With success throughout the country but more recently with a sold-out performance at New York's Carnegie Hall, Andy Cooney will entertain and sing his way into your hearts whether you're Irish or not. The Masters of Motown bring their celebration of the Motor City to our town on August 17th. Both male and female groups backed by a live band will recreate the sounds of the groups we all remember fondly; The Supremes, Four Tops, Temptations and so many more. This is a show not to be missed.
Masters of Motown at Great Waters Music Festival on August 17th

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

Manhattan Transfer at Great Waters Music Festival on August 24th.

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

We end our concert season in the most exciting way with The Manhattan Transfer on August 24th. This Grammy Award winning group came to Wolfeboro and Great Waters six years ago and the concert was sold out. They will be backed by a fantastic band and will cover the musical genres of pop, jazz, Broadway and so much more. Lastly it is such a treat to live in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, especially in the summer months, when dedicated individuals such as those of the Great Waters Music Festival work hard to bring quality music to share with those who love coming here and living here. If you would like more information on tickets, click HERE. If you would like more information on the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, click HERE to contact Steve or Carol Bush at Maxfield Real Estate.

First Night Wolfeboro 2011

First Night Wolfeboro 2011

First Night Wolfeboro 2011

Wolfeboro is the only First Night left in New Hampshire from the original three towns and city that had participated in First Night activities starting in 1999. On Friday, December 31st, First Night Wolfeboro will start at 5:15 with the Mardi Gras-style parade in downtown Wolfeboro, and will end at midnight with fireworks over Wolfeboro Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee.

First Night Wolfeboro 2011

As a lifelong lover of music and also as a resident of Tuftonboro, I have been to these First Night activities the past decade and I can attest to the wonderful quality of the performances presented. Because of my love of playing the guitar and mandolin, I am drawn to the exceptional music of my former string teacher, Seth Austen and his partner Beverly Woods. Their expertise in evoking sounds from a variety of musical styles range from Celtic, Appalachian, to Old Time Music is never to be missed. In the same venue as Austen and Woods, the First Congregational Church on North Main Street, is the amazing husband and wife team of Burke and Surette.  The first time I heard Susie Burkes voice and David Surettes playing of the guitar, mandolin and octave mandolin I was stunned at their musicality as a duo. Susies voice and Davids accompanying of songs which often speak to the heart or are playful and fun will, I believe, make them favorites of yours too. For only ten dollars for a button you get to visit all the performance venues, not only hearing amazing artists perform their music, but can see Wolfeboros Village Players perform, ice sculptures being made, face painting and mask making, an Olde Tyme Magik Show, marionettes, a Celtic Odyssey Contra Dance, and many many more wonderful activities.  Buttons can be purchased at the Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce on Railroad Avenue or at all select site locations the evening of December 31st. Dont miss your chance to ring out the old year and ring in the new with an extraordinary event, and have a Happy New Year from Carol and me at Maxfield Real Estate! Just one more reason why living in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire is so special.

Merry Christmas Music in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

As a music teacher in the Lakes Region, I can appreciate many different perspectives on holiday music. As a Christmas shopper, on the other hand, my sense of aesthetics rankles as much as the next guy over the canned holiday music retailers foist upon us to inspire greater holiday purchasing and boost the holiday spirit. "I Have a Little Dreidel" and "O Hannukah" have had their air time and we've moved solidly into"Santa Claus is coming to Town" and "O Christmas Tree". "Sleigh Ride," by the way, has a great non-denominational appeal. But Tuba Christmas is another animal entirely. In fact, I would wager that tubas were present in the original manger. These magnificent brass wonders have only been excluded from modern crèches because of their size, expense and susceptibility to weather. The lofty subject matter of Christmas carols and holiday melodies paired with the basso profundo of the tuba is a not-to-be-missed combination. The low notes of the all-tuba orchestra have an uncanny way of moving the body and soul. There is something incredibly uplifting about experiencing sacred and secular holiday tunes on such a visceral level, it is not unlike the effect of baroque cathedrals designed specifically to inspire the fear of God through acoustic engineering. Tuba Christmas is a gathering of tuba and euphonium players for the free public performance of holiday music. Tuba Christmas takes place in every state in the US and in some European countries. Though there is another Tuba Christmas concert in New Hampshire in Colebrook this Satrtuday, Tuba Christmas has already graced the Lakes Region.The big brass band played on December 11 at the All Saints Episcopal Church in Wolfeboro, put it in your calendar for next year! I do encourage you to embrace the season by supporting local music throughout the Lakes Region. You'll find it in your schools, concert halls, night clubs, and on the streets. And here: December 17, 2010 Lakes Region Singers' Annual Christmas Concert The 18th annual Lakes Region Singers' Christmas Concert -- 7:30pm at the Gilford Methodist Church on Route 11A.  It is free to the public with complimentary refreshments. December 18, 2010 Classical Christmas Concert & Traditional Carol Sing-along Featuring celebrated musicians; violinist Jeffery Kazukiewicz, flutist Bridget Kazukiewicz & cellist Beth Pearson; and vocalists Rev. Gina Finocchiaro and Marcia Schneider. And the theFirst Congregational Church of Wolfeboro Choir will lead a sing-along of our favorite Christmas Carols -- 7PM on Saturday, Dec. 18th at the First Congregational Church of Wolfeboro! December 19, 2010 Gilford Community Band Concert 50 fine musicians performing a selection of Christmas songs -- 3:00pm at the Gilford High School Auditorium. Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving in the Lakes Region: Gather Round the dining table and the billiard table

Thanksgiving in the New Hampshire Lakes Region: There's no place like home for the holidays. CNN tells us that 36 million of us will travel 50 or more miles from home during next week's Thanksgiving holiday. Family members drive from all over the country to return home to the Lakes Region. If you lived here, you'd be here by now... Of course the center piece of the holiday is dinner (and football, for some). From baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows to organic free-range turkeys, from parades to wish-bone wishes, traditions and tastes run the gamut. But the gathering place remains pretty consistent in the Lakes Region: the dining room is where the main event is staged. Here are two of my favorite dining rooms among my property listings:

  This Moultonborough dining room is the most heavily trafficked room in the quintessential lake house...the ideal location for Thanksgiving dinner. The house has westerly views which include the Loon Sanctuary.    This Wolfeboro dining room is lovely, and a bit more formal than  the Moultonborough dining room. The home is another terrific lake house. This time on South Wolfeboro Bay, with excellent southern exposure and gorgeous views.

For those of us who love to cook, the fun is preparing the Thanksgiving meal and the worry of hosting friends and family starts after dinner: what to do with a house full of guests in potentially inclement weather. This is where billiards comes into play. Billiards finds its origins in croquet; croquet finds its origins in the games Attila the Hun played with the severed heads of his conquered enemies. In light of the family-oriented character of Thanksgiving and the sometimes delicate nature of family reunions, lets stick with billiards. The dining rooms listed above come with wonderful billiard rooms, hence their presence in this post. Here are the billiard rooms:

   This billiard room is part of the Moutonbourough lake house listed above.  






In Wolfeboro New Hampshire Fences Make Good Neighbors: then and now

The stone wall surrounding this historic Wolfeboro cape on Warren Sands Road may have preceded the 1780 construction of this wonderful home.

In 1780 when this incredible Wolfeboro cape was built, the stone walls surrounding the property served three important roles: keeping the livestock in (and some out); defining property borders; storing the stone harvested from the fields to facilitate the working of the land (why carry a stone any further than you have to?). When Europeans first settled New Hampshire, it was mostly forested, but between mid 1800s and early 1900s the Granite State was nearly clear-cut. Agriculture, wood products, and wood heat ate up acres of timber. The original wide-pine floors and exposed beams in the Warren Sands Road cape shown here are a testament to those forests. Stone became the natural fencing material alternative...and then it became Robert Frost's favorite neighbor. The stone wall Frost refers to in his poem Mending Wall is on the property of his home in Derry, New Hampshire. Similar stone walls can be found all over New Hampshire. Deposited by glaciers and heaved up from the subsoil by centuries of winter frosts, the stones that made up these walls were easy to come by. As most early homes in New Hampshire involved some kind of agricultural activity and many fields had to be cleared, the prevalence of stone walls in this part of the country is not surprising. "That ancient rock was made of minerals that were made from elements that were made from universal mater, that was captured by our solar system during formation of planet Earth. Hence, the story of stone walls begins with the beginning of everything, and ends with the present moment." (from The Stone Wall Initiative) Elements of the Warren Sands cape will connect you with a slightly more recent past: built-in corner cabinets, wainscoting, spiral stairs, two original fireplaces, a three-carriage barn, and 47 acres of fields and woodlands. When the house was built, it was just off a major road connecting Wolfeboro to the seacoast area. The road was abandoned a number of years ago, although Google maps still show it as passable. Legend has it that Carol's great, great, great grandmother was an Abenaki Indian who married a white man named Warren, descended from Gen. Warren of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Late fall is an excellent time to view antique homes in the Lakes Region, especially those with stone walls, as there are no leaves to impair the views. For more on the stone walls of New Hampshire, check out the sources listed below, or contact me and we'll look at them together. The Pictorial History of New England's Stone Walls The Granite Kiss Stone By Stone Mending Wall image credit: Wikipedia

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    I Love Going Back in Time in Melvin Village New Hampshire and You Will Too!

    Driving through Melvin Village in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire on Saturday August 14th, I was thrilled to see the large number of antique and collectable cars and two antique trucks being displayed at the Melvin Garage and the Village Old Car Shop. It was the Tuftonboro Historical Society's annual arts and crafts fair.

    Beautifully Restored Antique Autos Lined Up in Melvin Village

    Melvin Village Satruday August 14th 2010

    Beautifully Restored Antique Autos Lined Up in Melvin Village

    Now I've always loved Melvin Village! The history of this part of Tuftonboro is rich with lore of an old hotel and steamships docking to let off and take on summer folk, as well as the quiet charm of a small New England village on Lake Winnipesaukee. On this absolutely beautiful summer day, I was transported back in time while viewing the restored 1929 Ford Model A Doctors Coup, Model T, Texaco truck, the Checker taxi, Pontiac convertible,66 Thunderbird convertible, and Ford Econoline to name just a few of the many on public view or for sale. Boy do I wish I could buy one!
    Melvin Village Garage

    Beautifully Restored Antique Autos Lined Up in Melvin Village

    Set in between the antique car dealers is one of the best antique shops in the area, Geez Louise. Mindy Jones, the proprietor, is always upbeat and fun to talk with about antiques or anything else that may be of interest. I wandered in to look at the new old items. Mindy was saying how she loves her location. I cant blame her for I love going back in time in Melvin Village New Hampshire and you will too.

    Beautifully Restored Antique Autos Lined Up in Melvin Village

    For real estate information on Melvin Village or anywhere in the Lakes Region, please contact us.

    Beautifully Restored Antique Autos Lined Up in Melvin Village

    First Wolfeboro Trip of Many - New England Vintage Boat Show

    Ms. Lookout here, I am new to the area but not new to traveling the world so Ill be exploring the coolest spots around the Big Lake, be it by land or by sea for you. So join me for my first stop  - this past Saturdays 10th Annual New England Vintage Boat Auction in support of Wolfeboros NH Boat Museum. Saturday morning began stifling hot so at the last minute my best friend and I decided to go by car, instead of by my mint 1967 Starcraft Holiday. (as of yet unnamed) This gave me a chance to feel out Wolfeboro by foot and its public docks for future trips. Once on its Main Street it was difficult not to stop and join the bustling summer crowds, peer into its intriguing stores and the savor its seafood, and other tasty treats, but it was getting late so we just headed straight to the New Hampshire Hampshire Boat Museum.

    New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro

    The entrance to the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro

    It turned out that the New Hampshire Boat Museum is two miles down on Center Street from Wolfeboros Public Docks. The ride was distractingly pretty, so just as you think you might have gone down the wrong road the most beautiful hand painted arching façade rises up on the right to greet you. As I parked my vintage 1982 Mercedes I could not but help feel that it barely fit in among these classic boats by Gar Wood, Chris-Craft, Century, Penn Yan, Lyman and Hacker that surrounded us. But this auction wasnt just about boats.
    Gotta Go to the New Hampshire Boat Museum

    The entrance to the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro

    The New Englands Boat Auction is also the Museums largest annual fundraiser. In 1992, antique and boat enthusiasts came together with the goal of preserving the heritage that is unique to New Hampshires Lakes. We were able to take a look around at the nautical items, collectibles and boats provided by donors just before the bidding began. Aside from the luxurious antique boats, there was everything an enthusiast could desire from handmade cast iron mermaids, duck decoys, paintings, port holes, boat hardware, antique nautical books and charts, an array of gorgeous lighthouse and brass anchor lamps and my favorite a Witchery Print and china set.
    Marine Memorabilia

    The entrance to the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro

    The Auctions Master of Ceremonies, Peter Coccolo looked cool throughout the pressure of the mounting bids in his crisp white shirt and khaki pants while the rest of us melted under the large tent. My favorite part of the day was when a beautiful 1928 22 Chris-Craft Cadet named Morning Star from Long Island came up for the bidding. 
    New Hampshire Boat Museum

    The entrance to the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro

     Couldnt you just imagine yourself riding in it with the wind blowing against your cheeks on the Big Lake? I sure did. After the show, I caught up with Peter Coccolo and one of the auctions organizers. Mr. Coccolo said the auctions attendance was great and was an overall success throughout the day despite the heat. Bruce MacLlellan, one of the organizers said the auction is just one of the many amazing things about Wolfeboro. When I asked him, why someone new like me should keep coming back he said, Diversification Wolfeboro has the Craft Fair, our New England Vintage Auction, and so much more.
    Members of the committee for the boat museum

    The entrance to the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro

    The day was still young and humid so we headed back towards Main Street. The various delicious smells were calling my name but we headed towards the public docks first. A sign reminds us of Wolfeboros place in history as a summer resort. The boat traffic was busy but consistently moving and if you dont have a boat no worries. Theres the Millie B and the Winnipesaukee Belle at your service to take you around the Big Lake. The great day ended with a delicious raspberry smoothie and a strawberry crepe from Oh, La, La Crepes! and a resolution to come back by boat.  The blog and photos are by Maria Diaz of Ashland, New Hampshire
    Wolfeboro Bay

    The entrance to the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro