LACONIA — On June 15, the M/V Doris E. will begin delivering mail to many islands on the big lake. This will mark the 128th year of continuous mail service on Lake Winnipesaukee.
In 1892, the address of RFD No. 7, Laconia, NH was established for lake mail service. This began the tradition of delivering mail to summer island residents of Lake Winnipesaukee. In the time since there have been only six mail boats to service the established route. The present mail boat, M/V Doris E., services the contract which has been held by the Winnipesaukee Flagship Company since 1969.
Since 1906, with the Uncle Sam I, the mail boat has taken fare-paying passengers on her mail trips for scenic cruises. The Doris E. continues this tradition today. In 1916, an act of Congress granted the mail boat on Lake Winnipesaukee the right to cancel mail, making her a full-fledged post office. This is a right she still holds, as the “Oldest Floating Post Office in America”.
This season, from June 15-Sept. 14, the U.S. Mail Boat Doris E. will operate two cruises a day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Departures are from the Mount Washington docks at the Weirs; tickets are $28 for adults and $14 for children.