Mission & Beginnings

The Sunapee Historical Society’s  mission is to bring together people interested in the history of the town of Sunapee and in the collection, preservation and exhibition of documents, photographs and artifacts about Sunapee.  We are guided by the idea that community life is strengthened by an appreciation and understanding of our social and cultural history. From a colonial farming community, to a water-powered industrial village, to a glorious summer lake resort with grand hotels and steamboat service, Sunapee’s history is fascinating.

A historical society for Sunapee was first proposed during the Town’s 1968 bicentennial celebration and was organized in 1970 by Charles Hill, Joseph and Jo Hill, Mrs. Harry Barnes, Bill and Eileen Stocker, Stuart and Lois Gallup, Charles Boyce, and others. The Society was incorporated in 1978.

‍In April 1980, Fay H. Osborne donated the former Flander’s Stable in Sunapee Harbor, built by his great-grandfather, Wallace W. Flanders, as home and museum for the society. Restoring the building took the volunteer efforts of many individuals, with Fay Osborne and Norman Perkins leading the way. Unfortunately, Fay did not live to see the museum’s opening during the summer of 1983, but the building and its collection endures, as does Fay’s spirit and dedication to preserving the graceful, slower paced, way of life that once thrived in Sunapee.

‍Our collection includes documents, photographs and historical items, including artifacts from Sunapee’s grand hotel and steamboat era and its earlier manufacturing era when the Sugar River powered more than 20 industries.

2021-2022 Board of Directors



Becky Rylander, President
Barbara Chalmers, Vice President
Lela Emery, Treasurer
Lucy Mueller, Secretary


Carolyne Gatesy
Howard Sargent
Heidi Unger

Program Chairman

Volunteer Coordinator

Lois Gould


Ex Officio

Eileen Stiles
Jo Hill
Ron Garceau