Spring House Hunt

Home of the Week: A Winnipesaukee compound accessible only by boat

The property, on the market for $1.69 million, consists of a main house, a cottage, a bathhouse, and a boathouse.

The dining room is part of an open layout encompassing the kitchen and family room. Allan Wolf Photography

46 and 47 Little Bear Island, Tuftonboro, N.H.


Buildings Main house, cottage, bathhouse

Year built 1910

Square feet 2,056

Bedrooms 4

Baths 2 full

Sewer/water Private

Taxes $11,570 (2021)

Here are some reasons to buy this compound on Little Bear Island: It has 329 feet of Lake Winnipesaukee waterfront, the property is reachable only by boat but has its own gorgeous boathouse, and there are no roads to disrupt the rural tranquility.

Since you can reach Little Bear Island only by water, the correct approach starts at the dock attached to the left side of the boathouse, which has two 28-foot bays and was rebuilt in 2014 using ipe Brazilian hardwood and steel beams for hoisting boats. On the opposite side of the boathouse is a wide deck allowing one (or many) to enjoy the proximity to the lake.

The compound consists of five buildings: the main house, the cottage, the bathhouse, the boathouse, and a shed. – Allan Wolf Photography
The boathouse also comes with a deck and an exterior dock. – Allan Wolf Photography
The boathouse has two 28-foot bays. – Allan Wolf Photography

A crushed stone path covered by years of pine needles leads from the water into the woods as it travels past one of the two residential buildings in the compound: “The Ice House’’ is actually a one-bedroom cottage with space for — just one bedroom. There is no bath in the 190-square-foot structure, but there is a wood-burning fireplace and a bay window that offers excellent lake and boathouse views.

The cottage has a stone fireplace. – Allan Wolf Photography
This cottage has a bedroom area but no bathroom. – Allan Wolf Photography

Outside, the trail travels deeper into the 1.75-acre lot to the primary home, which has an appropriate woodsy look that helps it blend in with the towering trunks of the mature trees occupying most of the lot. Adding to the Lakes Region cabin atmosphere is a wide stone chimney that climbs the side of the 1,636-square-foot house.

The lot is 1.75 acres. – Allan Wolf Photography

One enters the house via a stairway with white railings. The first interior space is a lodge-style family room with exposed beams supporting the cathedral ceiling and a bay window seat with views of the lake and Gunstock Mountain. The view vies for attention with the gorgeous stone fireplace, which has a wood stove insert — the home’s only source of heat.


The ceiling and walls are knotty pine. The flooring, which is also found in the kitchen and dining area, is a naturally brilliant Douglas fir.

The family room flows into the eat-in kitchen, but a set of double doors opens to a screened-in porch, which must be the more popular dining destination given the views of Lake Winnipesaukee, Ragged Island, and Gunstock Mountain it provides, the escape from the insects of summer it ensures, and the night breezes off the lake it captures.

Exposed beams and a wood ceiling are in keeping with the home’s Lakes Region vibe. – Allan Wolf Photography
The screened-in porch faces the lake. – Allan Wolf Photography

The kitchen has a wide, long island with cabinets, a soapstone counter, and an overhang at one end with seating for two. Opposite the island is a cooking area with an electric oven, a stainless steel stove hood, and cabinets with smoked-glass windows. The soapstone counter extends beyond the stove to encompass the sink and a carved, slotted drying rack. The sink is underneath a long rectangular window looking to the rear of the lot. The refrigerator is also stainless steel.

The kitchen features a wide, long island, soapstone counters, and stainless steel appliances. – Allan Wolf Photography

A door at the end of the kitchen opens into a full bath with a shower stall behind clear glass doors. The vanity is topped by a square white porcelain countertop sink and bluestone counter. The flooring is Marmoleum. A second door opens to the first-floor owner bedroom. This room has a triplex of windows with lake views, a private entry to the deck with the screened-in porch, and a door to the kitchen.


The flooring, walls, and ceiling are knotty pine.

A door in the owner bedroom opens to the front deck. – Allan Wolf Photography
The bath in the main house is shower only. – Allan Wolf Photography

The stairwell in the center of the home leads to a hallway that divides the upper level into bedrooms that appear similar. To both the right and the left, there are bedrooms with angled roof lines, Marmoleum flooring, recessed lights, and lake views. The larger of the two has two pairs of windows, while the smaller has three windows and a Juliet balcony overlooking the family room. Neither bedroom has a closet.

This bedroom has a door that opens to a balcony overlooking the family room. – Allan Wolf Photography
Both upstairs bedrooms have knotty pine ceilings and lake views. – Allan Wolf Photography

Sitting behind the main house is the bathhouse, a 240-square-foot building with a washer and dryer and a full bathroom with a sink, toilet, and tub. The bathhouse underwent marginal updates 10 years ago but is not in great condition now. The listing agents did not provide pictures of the structure.

Drinking water is drawn from the lake and filtered through an ultraviolet system. The property has a septic system permitted for five bedrooms.

The main house has a 660-square-foot dirt basement with walkout access.

A breakwater protects the sandy swim area.

The property comes with 329 feet of shoreline. – Allan Wolf Photography

Mark Ashley and Becky Fuller of Lake and Island Properties in Meredith are the listing agents.

View additional photos of this property at realestate.boston.com.

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