The Native American name Winnipesaukee means either "smile of the Great Spirit" or "beautiful water in a high place." At the outlet of the Winnipesaukee River, the Winnipesaukee Indians, a subtribe of the Pennacook, lived and fished at a village called Acquadocton. Today, the site is called The Weirs, named for the weirs that colonists discovered when first exploring the region. Fishing weirs were stone structures designed by Native Americans to help them catch fish. So it should not have been a huge surprise to any of us last summer when unusual pieces of 'stone' were discovered on site. Archaeologists were called in to perform a thorough search of the area. We all became familiar with the term 'Munsungun Chert' which was a stone used by Paleo-Indians to create hand struck tools. Munsungun Chert would indeed be a rare find since the Paleo -Indians used the tools they created to hunt Mastodons! Just imagine! We all held our breath while the unidentified stone was sent off to labs to be formally identified. The historian in all of us was in awe of the idea that Paleo-Indians and Mastodons once walked this ground. The business side of us wondered anxiously what a finding of Munsungun Chert would do to our project. The results came back ~ and the stone was identified as red jasper which was used more commonly by Native Americans to create tools by hand. The project moved forward but I believe that we all look at the site through new lens as we think of the people who inhabited these lands hundreds of years before us.
Here is the red jasper which was found on the site:
Eventually the land was transformed into the Weirs Beach Tent and Trailer Park. There were 180 sites on which people could pitch a tent or bring in their campers for the season. Being within walking distance to the Weirs Beach Boulevard, the Beach, the arcades and many other area attractions made this a prime camping location for many families through the years. Many wonderful memories were created and we have had more than a few visitors to 'The Cottages at Weirs Beach Village' who had spent many summer vacations on this site and just wanted to stop in to share a memory or two with us.
And on October 16, 2007 this land changed hands once again. For the past two years, work has been diligent and constant to create a community in which people can live comfortably year round in a vacation setting. This is not just another development. This is a community built with pride and respect for the land and the history surrounding it. We encourage you to stop in and take a tour of 'The Cottages at Weirs Beach Village.' And while you are there, take a minute to reflect on the footsteps of all who preceded you.