Earliest Lake Spofford (Spafford) Maps
The lake was first called Spafford’s Lake. Below is a section of the town Proprietors’ Map (made on sheep skin parchment), which is probably the oldest map of the lake.
This is an excerpt from the Holland map of New Hampshire (named for the author, Samuel Holland) that was published in 1784, but the information dates to about 1774 when the surveys were completed.
Below is a section from the 1816 Carrigain map of New Hampshire. It derives from the 1805 town plan.
Evolution into a Resort
There is only one house on the lake. It was constructed from granite by Ezekiel P. Pierce. Placed near a stagecoach stop and having access to the lake, he operated it as the Lake House, a temperance establishment that took in guests. In 1857, he added a sailboat for tours of the lake. Thus, tourism on the lake began.
There is some growth but mainly in the area of Chesterfield Factory.
By 1892, there are dozens of houses on the shoreline, and it has been renamed Spofford’s Lake for the first time on a map. This lake tracks the growth of the American middle class. The products made in Factoryville on the 1858 map were shipped to faraway places and led local residents to an improved standard of living. Greater personal wealth here and in other places allowed for recreation on New Hampshire’s beautiful lakes. In 1877 the Prospect House (hotel) accepted guests who arrived here by stagecoach from nearby train stations.
The Lake is fully established with summer homes.