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Governor’s Island on Lake Winnipesaukee in Gilford. (Courtesy photo)

The Lakes Region is known for its abundance of four-season communities with multiple choices for almost every imaginable budget. Governor’s Island on Lake Winnipesaukee in Gilford is certainly one that stands out. Over the years, the island has transitioned into one of the finest waterfront communities on Winnipesaukee which will continue to evolve for future generations to enjoy.

Governor’s Island includes 504 acres and is approximately 1.8 miles long and .7 miles wide. The island was originally owned by Governor Wentworth through a land grant in 1772; however, all his lands and estates were confiscated during the revolution and Samual Gilman was elected to divide the land. In 1780 Governor’s Island was purchased and later sold to a US Senator who also became Governor of NH. He then sold the property to a man from Alton, NH for $1200.00 and was again sold to Eleazer Davis, whose son, Nathaniel Davis built the bridge and established a farming co-op. In 1883 it was leased to Stilson Hutchins (The founder of The Washington Post) for $1,000.00/year for 99-years. He is credited for the road along the shoreline and throughout the island. During 1885 he started construction on a Granite mansion, which unfortunately caught fire 50 years later and his attempt at the development failed. After World War II, construction started to increase and more homes starting rising along the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Fast forward to today where you will find some of the finest luxury homes located on the “Big Lake” which have been constructed along the shores of this unique island. Additionally, a number of exquisite homes within the interior road network of the island enjoy shared access to the Governor’s Island amenities and beaches.

Over the years, many of the original modest cape style residences have been torn down and larger estate homes and compounds have been built with some of the most eye-appealing architectural designs found in New England. These luxury homes include extensive docking systems, many with breakwaters and canopied docks. 140 acres of the island is preserved as natural common-conservation land with hiking and cross-country trails meandering throughout the island. Members of the Governor’s Island Club enjoy outstanding amenities including natural sandy beaches with breakwaters, tennis courts, playground and a wonderful new clubhouse overlooking the waterfront recreation area. Here you can enjoy picnics, gatherings and specials occasions with loved ones. The gradual sandy beaches are some of the finest you will see on Lake Winnipesaukee. The waterfront homes enjoy expansive views from all directions, some orienting towards Gunstock and The Belknap Mountains while others face the White Mountains, Mt. Washington and The Ossipees.

The island is accessed by a small scenic bridge which leads to Route 11D. It is one of six bridged islands on Lake Winnipesaukee and is the fourth largest island out of 274 on Lake Winnipesaukee with Long Island being the largest at 1,186 acres. Today there are over 167 property owners on Governor’s Island which combined, represent over 15% of Gilford’s tax revenue.

During 2019 there were 3 waterfront sales on Governor’s Island ranging from $980,000 -$3,900,000 with the average sales price of $2,493,333. In 2018 there were 8 waterfront sales ranging from $975,000 - $5,000,000 with the average sale at $2,445,500. In 2017 there were 8 waterfront sales ranging from $1,100,000 - $4,350,000 with the average sales price at $1,941,142. During recent years the island has seen considerable new construction with gorgeous lakefront homes substantial in size being built, which are not included in these resale figures. For water access homes on the center of the island in 2019 there were 2 sales at an average price of $550,000, in 2018 there was 1 sale at $509,000 and in 2017 there were 3 at $516,200. At the present time, there are five waterfront properties available for sale ranging from $1,900,000 - $9,500,000.

Roche Realty Group has 274 Edgewater Drive on Governor’s Island listed at $1,900,000. This beautiful home includes 170’ feet of westerly facing shorefront with a massive breakwater, canopy docking system and beautifully landscaped sunbathing areas. This custom home features approximately 8,000 sqft of living space.

If you would like to view or dream about some of these fine waterfront homes, take a look on Google™ and search “Governors Island on Lake Winnipesaukee” … RocheRealty.com will pop up and direct you to our Governor’s Island Club page on our website, which features some quick facts, nice photos and all available properties for sale.

We are so fortunate in the Lakes Region to have such a wide variety of properties and communities on so many different lakes. From three-season cottages to luxurious lakefront estates, the choices are endless.


Frank Roche is the President of Roche Realty Group with two offices in Meredith (603) 279-7046, and Laconia (603) 528-0088. You can learn more about the company and research a wealth of real estate information at: www.rocherealty.com

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