browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.
Our Great American Adventure Website Logo

Delivering mail on Lake Winnipesaukee…

Posted by on August 31, 2015

AUGUST 31, 2015

LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE. Surrounded by three mountain ranges, the wooded shoreline and crystal clear water of this spring-fed lake uspsmake it a popular year-round destination, and a perfect one for a day trip from our campsite today. It took us just about an hour to drive to the lake, the largest in the state of New Hampshire and one of the largest in the United States. “Lake Winni” as the locals call it, contains about 260 islands, some of which are less than a quarter of an acre in size. Others, more substantial, are home to summer camps and vacation homes of some well-heeled New Englanders who’ve found here a place to escape the heat and hustle-bustle of the city. And how does the USPS deliver mail to these folks? With a mail boat, of course. A mail boat that takes a limited number of passengers on its mail runs each day. So, we decided to join the crew this afternoon.

New Image

Lake Winnipesaukee is huge, and surrounded the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I think you should get free parking at the marina if you can correctly pronounce the name of the lake! The locals call it “Lake Winni.”

New Image

The M/V Sophie C. delivers mail six days a week to eight of these islands in Lake Winni.

FLOATING POST OFFICE: MAIL BOAT SOPHIE C. The Motor Vessel Sophie C. is the oldest floating post office in the United States. Each season she provides mail service on Lake Winnipesaukee, a tradition dating back to 1892. Both of Sophie’s daily mail runs take her to 5 islands where her staff delivers mail to the island residents and summer camps. In addition to being a full-service post office, where residents may purchase postal supplies and stamps, Sophie also has a collection of ice cream novelty treats and snacks for sale. A daily ice cream bar or popsicle has become a summer tradition for her island friends.


M/V Sophie C. is a floating U.S. Post Office. She delivers mail to residents of the islands in Lake Winnipesaukee. There were only about a dozen of us aboard today, so we had a very personalized tour of the lake for about two hours as the mail was being delivered.


The Captain in his wheelhouse. He’s getting ready to blast the boat’s three tone airhorn and pull away from the dock.


Florence displaying the American Flag at the stern of the boat. 


A view across the bow of the boat as we headed to Jolly Island with our first batch of mail.











As we approach the dock on Jolly Island, the Postmistress prepares to deliver the mail. If the residents aren’t waiting to meet the boat, she puts the mail in the mailboxes located right on the dock. 


Believe it or not, this is an official U.S. Post Office. It’s located aboard the M/V Sophie C. on Lake Winni in New Hampshire.


















It looks as if there must be eleven homes on Jolly Island. Apparently none of the residents was expecting anything important, because nobody greeted us when we arrived at the dock.


At this island, the fella wearing the hat and his grand-daughter were waiting for the mail. You can see the gal in the background looking for our mail boat in the distance.


The postmistress always has dog biscuits. She says as soon as the captain sounds the horn, when approaching the dock, these dogs come running out of the woods and down to the pier for their treats. Just like Pavlov’s dogs.















I’d put my Weber grill on that yellow dock and have dinner right there on the lake every night!


This is one of the nicest lakefront homes we saw today. I counted five chimneys, so I’m guessing there are at least ten fireplaces. Not a bad place to spend the winter in New Hampshire, I’d say.

We enjoyed being aboard the Sophie C. for its afternoon mail run today. It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours on the water without having to rub shoulders with hundreds of other tourists on one of those big “cattle call” boats.


Comments are closed.