Legend of Lake Winnipesaukee - Lakes Region

May 28. 2013 2:39PM

"Many moons ago on the northern shore of this beautiful lake there lived a great chief, Wonaton, renowned for his great courage in war, and for the beauty of his fair daughter, Mineola. She had many suitors, but refused them all. One day, Adiwando, the young chief of a hostile tribe to the south, hearing so much of the fair Mineola, paddled across the lake and fearlessly entered the village of his enemies. Her father happened to be away at the time, and admiring his courage, the rest of the Indians did not harm him. Before long, he and the Indian maid were desperately in love with each other. Wonaton, on his return, was exceedingly wroth to find the chief of the enemy in his camp and a suitor for the hand of his daughter, that he immediately raised his tomahawk to kill him. Mineola, rushing in between them, pleaded with her father for the life of her lover, and finally succeeded in reconciling them. After the wedding ceremony, the whole tribe accompanied the two in their canoes halfway across the lake. The sky when they started was overcast and the waters black, but just as they were about to turn and leave them, the sun came out and the waters sparkled around the canoe of Mineola and Adiwando. "This is a good omen," said Wonaton, "and hereafter these waters shall be called Winnipesaukee, or 'Smile of the Great Spirit'."
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