The Dam 2018-06-12T21:18:48+00:00

The Dam

The Dam is a concrete structure located at the south end of Fourth Lake, the last of three small bodies of water south of the Narrows Bridge and Chocorua Lake.  The dam controls the level of the lakes.  Since 1973, the Chocorua Lake Conservancy has owned and maintained the dam and water level of the lake.

The Narrows Bridge in 1886 overlooking Chocorua Lake. Note how low the lake was at the time.

The Narrows Bridge in 1886 overlooking Chocorua Lake.  Note how low the lake was at the time before the first dam was constructed.

Before 1900, Chocorua Lake was two or three feet lower than it is now, and there was a large expanse of rocky beach in front of the Grove.  The lake had wide, muddy shorelines in the summer.  Much of the so called Second Point was out of water, and it was difficult to get boats and canoes under the Narrows Bridge at the south end of the lake.  Little Chocorua Lake was a marshy field with the Chocorua River running through its middle. 

In 1901, Charles P. Bowditch purchased the water power rights in Chocorua Village and constructed a dam in the village in the hopes that the newly available power would stimulate the local economy through light manufacturing.  Although the endeavor did not prove successful, Bowditch shortly thereafter erected a second dam of wood in the narrow passage between Second and Third lakes, this time to raise the water level, improve the ragged, muddy appearance of the lake shore, and facilitate boat passage between the main lake and Little Lake.  This wooden dam was replaced at least once.

Earl Remick (right) and Almon Evans (left) on newly built dam in 1962. Photo courtesy of Lorraine Streeter.

Earl Remick (right) and Almon Evans (left) on newly built dam in 1962. Photo courtesy of Lorraine Streeter.

By the 1960s, the wooden dam had badly deteriorated and needed to be replaced.  In 1962, the construction of a new concrete dam, which was led by Almon Evans, was generously funded by the Tamworth Foundation.

In 1973, the Tamworth Foundation transferred ownership of the dam to the Chocorua Lake Conservation Foundation (CLCF), which assumed the responsibility for ongoing maintenance and repair, and the Chocorua Lake Association (CLA) assumed responsibility for the control of the water level.

In 1992, the dam was repaired with funds provided by the CLA, CLCF and Tamworth Foundation.

Following the merger of the CLA and CLCF in August 2014, the Chocorua Lake Conservancy assumed ownership of the dam and responsibility for maintenance and repairs.  In the fall of 2014, John Roberts and a crew of volunteers made additional repairs to the dam.


To help us preserve the Chocorua Lake Basin and provide public access to visitors to the lake and nearby conservation lands, please click HERE.

Dam after repairs in Fall 2014

Chocorua River Dam after repairs in Fall 2014