The “Steamboat Era” on Lake Sunapee began in 1854 and ended in the late 1920’s. There was a brief period (1854 to 1860) when two passenger ships were in operation on Sunapee. Then there was a break (caused by the Civil War) until 1876, when the Penacook/Mountain Maid was launched. There were seven commercial steamboats on the lake. The largest, Armenia White, was 101 feet long and could take 650 passengers. Here are a few articles reproduced from the New Hampshire Profiles magazine (a State of NH tourist publication from 1952 to 1991).
There were up to twenty steamboat landings once on Lake Sunapee. A fleet of steam ships took guests to the many hotels/inns that were located at these various landings from the late 1800's until the 1930's. They carried passengers, luggage, mail, cargo, etc. and gave Sunday excursions to vacationers.