For Immediate Release
Posted: July 25, 2023


Shelly Angers, NH Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136 |

Weeks State Park named to National Register of Historic Places

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has announced that Weeks State Park in Lancaster has been listed to the United States Secretary of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. 

A well-preserved example of a summer estate built during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Weeks State Park is historically significant because of its architecture, its historic associations with conservation, agriculture and recreation, and as the summer home of Sen. John Wingate Weeks (1860-1926).

The son of a farmer, Lancaster native Weeks represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1905-1913 and in the U.S. Senate from 1913-1919. He served as Secretary of War under Presidents Harding and Coolidge from 1921-1925.

Weeks is best known for authoring the Weeks Act of 1911, which authorized the federal government to purchase land for national forests. The act resulted in approximately 20 million acres, including White Mountain National Forest, being preserved and protected across the United States.

President Warren G. Harding, then-Vice President Calvin Coolidge and General John J. Pershing were some of the military, business and political friends and colleagues who visited Weeks at what he referred to as “the Mountain.”

He died at the estate, where he wanted to spend his final days. His children, Katherine W. Davidge and Sinclair Weeks, granted it to the State of New Hampshire in 1941.

Located on the summit and slopes of Mt. Prospect, the 420-acre property’s location provides views of the Presidential, Franconia and Pilot ranges of White Mountain National Forest, the Connecticut and Israel river valleys and into Vermont. Mown lawns and meadowland, shade trees, curvilinear paths and drives contribute to the landscape design.

The summit lodge, built in 1912, is a rare New Hampshire example of the Craftsman style executed at a large scale. Its features include a red terra-cotta tile-covered clipped gable roof, fieldstone chimneys on each gable wall, expansive verandas, diamond-pane lead glass windows and a stucco exterior.

Its interior layout is unusual in that all of the building’s living and sleeping rooms are on the first floor and the second floor is a single 30 x 70 foot hall used for entertaining guests.

An 87 foot tall Tudor Revival-style tower made from native split fieldstone is located near the summit lodge. Originally built in 1912 with a cylindrical water tank to serve the property, its observation deck was enclosed by an octagonal room in 1941 when it was adapted to use as a fire tower; it is the only masonry fire tower in the state and remains an integral part of fire prevention and forest conservation in the state. 

Other 1912 features include the caretaker’s cottage, a garage, the foundation of the pump house that conveyed water to the tower’s storage tank, an auto road that leads to the summit house, fieldstone walls and the landscape design. A carriage road, cellar holes and spring sites pre-date Weeks’ ownership.

The property has been used for agriculture since the early nineteenth century, tourism and sightseeing since the late nineteenth century and skiing since the mid-twentieth century.

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 ( and the Conservation License Plate Program (

For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit 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 or by calling 603-271-3483.