Latest NH listing to the National Register of Historic Places is above par
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has announced that Bald Peak Colony Club in Moultonborough has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior by being listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a distinct example of a rural country club established in the 1920s.
Located on the northeast shore of Lake Winnipesaukee and with views of the lake and both the Belknap and Ossipee Mountain Ranges, Bald Peak Colony Club officially opened on August 1, 1921. It is one of the most intact historic golf clubs in New Hampshire and the only one located on a lake or accompanied by historic residences.
Developed by self-made industrialist French-Canadian Thomas Gustav Plant (1859-1941), the property is situated on the lower reaches of his extensive country retreat, Lucknow – best known today as Castle in the Clouds.
Ninety-three buildings, sites and structures contribute to Bald Peak’s historic relevancy. Nearly all of the earliest buildings were built in the Colonial Revival style, which continues to be the style of choice for most of the members’ cottages. Characterized by wide clapboards, molded window and door casings, six-panel doors, windows with multi-pane sash and shutters, Colonial Revival’s highly traditional look reflects New England’s roots and conservative character.
Bald Peak’s symmetrical, two-and-a-half story clubhouse has a gabled entry pavilion, a full-width veranda for seating and dining, and a practice putting green within the circular drive out front. Inside are spacious rooms on the first floor for reception, reading, games and group entertainment. Guest bedrooms are located on the upper levels.
The club’s early cottages were intentionally located near the clubhouse. Virtually all are side-gabled and one-and-a-half stories, but full-width, shed-roofed dormers on both roof slopes give them the illusion and functionality of being two stories. Most have an inset veranda spanning the lakeside/rear elevation that takes full advantage of the lake and mountain views.
A garage/dormitory built to hold guest automobiles on the first and lower levels, and with 42 private sleeping rooms for chauffeurs on the upper floors, dates to the club’s opening, as does a single-story garage/shop.
Other club buildings include a recreation hall, greenhouse, boathouses, 16 Depression-era wooden beach cabanas and a racquet club that is the only rustic-style building on the property.
Bald Peak’s 18-hole golf course was laid out to create intentional vistas of the lake and mountains. Its routing has not changed since 1919 and the course remains much as it was in the 1920s.
On August 5, 1922, the club hosted its first golf tournament, pitting recent U.S. Amateur winner Jesse Guilford and Francis Ouimet against two British champions, J.H. Taylor and “Sandy” Herd.
World-renowned golf course architect Donald Ross visited Bald Peak soon after the 1922 tournament and likely was responsible for suggesting course revisions, many of which are still in place.
In addition to golf, members and guests at Bald Peak Colony Club could enjoy swimming, canoeing, sailing, motor boating, tennis and croquet. Weekly dances and lessons, bridge, travel lectures and moving pictures twice a week were among the indoor entertainment options.
In the club’s first decades, members included the president of National Carbon Company, a major unit of Union Carbide Corporation; the founder of the Lahey Clinic in Boston; the chairman and president of John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company and one of the few women to attend the Paris peace conference at the conclusion of World War I.
Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of historic resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.
Listing to the National Register does not impose any new or additional restrictions or limitations on the use of private or non-federal properties. Listings identify historically significant properties and can serve as educational tools and increase heritage tourism opportunities. The rehabilitation of National Register-listed commercial or industrial buildings may qualify for certain federal tax provisions.
In New Hampshire, listing to the National Register makes applicable property owners eligible for grants such as the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program or LCHIP (lchip.org) and the Conservation License Plate Program (nh.gov/nhdhr/grants/moose).
For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit nh.gov/nhdhr or contact the Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3583.
New Hampshire's Division of Historical Resources, the State Historic Preservation Office, was established in 1974 and is part of the N.H. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. NHDHR’s mission is to preserve and celebrate New Hampshire’s irreplaceable historic resources through programs and services that provide education, stewardship, and protection. For more information, visit us online at nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling 603-271-3483.