Winslow State Park
April 26. 2011 4:23PM
Location: Off Route 11, Kearsarge Mountain Road, Wilmot
Activities: Hiking, picnicking
Amenities: Picnic tables, fire tower
Weekends: Early-May to Mid-June
Daily: Mid-June to Early November
Acreage: Part of Kearsarge Mountain State Forest, 4,965 acres
Winslow State Park is named for a nineteenth century hotel, the Winslow House. The hotel was located in what is now the park's picnic area. A cellar hole is all that remains of the hotel that was named in honor of Admiral John Winslow who was commander of the USS Kearsarge during the Civil War. The Kearsarge was built in Portsmouth and constructed of lumber milled from trees cut on Mt. Kearsarge. The USS Kearsarge sank the confederate ship Alabama in a decisive battle off the French coast. The victory helped to keep European countries from entering the war on the side of the confederates. Admiral Winslow became a national hero and the USS Kearsarge was known throughout the country.
The hotel burned once and was rebuilt. By the end of the century it proved unprofitable, was abandoned, and burned to the ground. In 1933, William B. Douglas gave 20 acres, including the cellar hole, to the State as a memorial to the actress Katherine Raynor. The property abutted lands already in state ownership, and the site became a State Park in 1935.