A brief history of Baboosic Lake

Baboosic Lake has long been the center of summer fun in Amherst, but early in the 20th century, the emphasis was on fun for adults.

According to the town history, cottages sprang up around Baboosic Lake after World War I, and it was one of the most popular resorts in this part of New England: “Hundreds of Nashua and Manchester people, as well some from Boston, enjoyed its advantages.”

The Geneva Lodge opened for summer visitors in the mid-1920s with 19 bedrooms and a large piazza facing the water. There were two dance halls, the Moonbeam and the Pine Echo, which had an eight-piece orchestra. Later, both ballrooms were used as roller rinks, and the Moonbeam built two bowling alleys.

In 1971, the Pine Echo property went on the market, and selectmen called a special meeting. After “the matter was hotly debated,” according to the town history, residents voted 218-144 to buy it.

Herbert W. Wenzel Jr. sold it to the town for $67,500, and by 1982, about 300 families were swimming, boating and picnicking from the beach. In 1978, the building collapsed under snow, and it was replaced with a smaller one.

– KATHY CLEVELAND

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