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The M/V Sophie C: the mail boat on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee

M/V Sophie C., Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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M/V Sophie C., Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Drive to Weir’s Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee for a 2-hour ride aboard the mail boat M/V Sophie C., a full service U. S. Post Office complete with stamps and supplies.

Weir's Beach, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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Weir’s Beach, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

The M/V Sophie C. is the United States’ oldest floating post office and the only floating post office on an inland waterway. It was built in Boston in 1945 as a supply ship for the U.S. Navy. A cabin was added later.

M/V Sophie C., Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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M/V Sophie C., Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

The M/V Sophie C. carries mail and passengers on Lake Winnipesaukee from mid-June 16 to mid-September

The postmistress in the mail boat M/V Sophie C.
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The postmistress in the mail boat M/V Sophie C.

The postmistress uses a unique cancellation stamp on all postcards that are mailed onboard.

post office in mail boat, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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post office in mail boat, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Mail has been delivered to residents and summer campers this way since 1892. There are stops at four islands during the morning run and stops at five others in the afternoon.

mail deivery on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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mail deivery on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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Idlewild Association, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Lake Winnipesaukee is a relaxing place where island time can be told by when the boat comes by.

mail boat, Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H
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mail boat, Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H

Residents wait at the dock for deliveries. Children look forward to the boat’s daily arrival as an opportunity to buy one of the ice cream novelties or other snacks for sale onboard.

Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

More than just mail

Cormorants are often spotted sunning themselves on rocks.

cormorants, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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cormorants, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Much to the amusement of passengers aboard the Sophie C., there is a tradition that when the mail boat leaves someone on the dock jumps into the lake.

Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

the jump after mail delivery, Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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the jump after mail delivery, Jolly Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

mail boat dive, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
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dive for the mail boat, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

To see the most divers visit when summer camps are in session.

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