The restoration of the Sandwich Stagecoach continues with dedicated volunteers offering their time and resources to preserve this wonderful and elegant stagecoach.
The stage coach, now owned by the Town of Sandwich, was crafted and built in 1850 per request of Curtis S. Coe, for the Senter House, a hotel located in Center Harbor at the time.
L. Downing & Sons of Concord, NH, built the coach which was later known as the Concord Coach No. XVI, a nine passenger, city style wooden boot, mail coach. Major Lewis Downing visited Center Harbor in 1900, to inspect the "Senter House Coach" declaring that "with a few general repairs, it will stand the racket for many years to come..."
The coach became the property of Dennison R. Slade, a gentleman farmer whose property in Sandwich was located on Squam Lake. Slade offered the coach to Center Harbor by Warrant Article XXIII, "to be properly housed and kept as an old relic of the Town". The article was tabled, and the coach was bequeathed to Sandwich before Slade's death on June 17th 1914.
The Sandwich Reporter, a newspaper of the time, reported on October 7th and 21st that at the Sandwich Grange Fair Parade, "the old coach...decorated, drew its share of attention and applause, winning first prize. It was a striking feature of the parade."
For much of the 1920's and 1930's, the coach was featured at a small museum at Robert's Pinnacle Park Zoo, until the hurricane of 1938, devastated much of the Lakes Region. On September 22nd, 1939 the coach was returned to Sandwich, and after the Sandwich Fair Parade, a decision was made to restore the coach to its former glory, after so much neglect, so that it could be featured in the 1941 parade. Edwin G. Burgum, a son of a decorator of Concord coaches, oversaw the restoration. The Sandwich Fair Association paid upwards of $8000 at the time in reviving the coach.The coach will soon be housed in its new permanent home at the Quimby Barn, recently relocated to the Frost Lot. A new carriage house will be added to the back of the Quimby Barn to store this special gem.