U.S. Mailboat Sophie C – Meredith, New Hampshire - Atlas Obscura

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U.S. Mailboat Sophie C

Meredith, New Hampshire

One of the two USPS mailboats left in service docks regularly at Weirs Beach, Bear Island, and other Lake Winnipesaukee islands to deliver their mail. 

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The M/V Sophie C. makes its waterfront deliveries to the residents of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee every mail season since 1892, which only lasts from June to September. The seasonal homes across the eight islands are typically starting to close after Labor Day, so the mailboat doesn’t have to worry about issues with lake ice.

The mail boat first launched in 1945, and was named after the owner of the Winnipesaukee Flagship Corporation’s mother. In 1969, the Sophie C took over the seasonal postal route charged with delivering mail to residents on the western side of Winnipesaukee. 

The Sophie C. stops at Weirs Beach twice a day for passengers and cargo. On the boat, you can purchase historically authentic postage stamps, depicting the vessels. Bear Island has its own outpost on a channel, where the mailboat can be spotted and traditionally waved to as it passes through.

The big sibling vessel to the Sophie C, the well-known Mount Washington Ferry, was used in 1945 by the U.S. Navy in World War II. The Boston Ship amd Engine Works built the Sophie C to temporarily fulfill the need for a ferry service, then adopted the permanent mail route when the Mount Washington returned from its military application.

Know Before You Go

The boat departs twice a day from Weirs Beach, first at 11 a.m., then again at 2 p.m. Stops vary depending on time and quantity of mail.

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