Sunapee, New Hampshire

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Sunapee is a town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,055 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 3,309.[1] Sunapee is home to part of Lake Sunapee. The town includes the village of Georges Mills.



Like many other towns, this one went through name changes before its incorporation in 1781: "Saville" in 1768, "Corey's Town", and then "Wendell", for one of the Masonian Proprietors, John Wendell. The marsh near Sunapee Middle High School still bears Wendell's name. The name "Sunapee" was substituted for "Wendell" by the legislature in 1850. The town, Lake Sunapee and Mount Sunapee share the name which comes from the Algonquian Indian words "suna" meaning "goose", and "apee", meaning "lake". The Indians called the area "Goose Lake" because it was a favorite spot of wild geese.

Before Sunapee was a sizable tourist attraction, it was an industrial area. One factory produced 110 clothespins a minute. After the factories faded away, the major attraction became the pristine lake, once surrounded by a number of grand hotels. People used large ferries to get from hotel to hotel around the lake, but the ferries were mostly gone by 1915, when the automobile was widely introduced to the area. Lake Sunapee is the only lake in New Hampshire with three working lighthouses, built in the 1890s and maintained by the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. The town was the birthplace of the rock band, Aerosmith. Steven Tyler can still occasionally be seen around Sunapee and owns a house on the lake.[citation needed]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.2 square miles (65.3 km2), of which 21.1 sq mi (54.6 km2) is land and 4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2) is water, comprising 16.19% of the town. Sunapee is drained by the Sugar River. The highest point in town is about 1,600 feet (490 m) above sea level, along the town's northern border, just north of Ledge Pond.


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