Tigerhawk asked in the last post about Sarkozy vacationing here. I hadn't really thought of myself as having inside knowledge, but I suppose I do. About Wolfeboro, that is - not Sarkozy. I hadn't thought of that knowledge as particularly specialized, either. Anyone who lives any length of time in NH, and about a quarter of the people in MA and CT, has some connection to Lake Winnipesaukee. As a solid percentage of my visitors here are from NH and have connections of their own, it hadn't occurred to me that my information would be of interest.
Wolfeboro has long had some extremely wealthy people with lake houses. Madame Chiang Kai-Shek spent many of her later years there, and the Bald Peak Colony Club was long a haven for Very Old Money. As a child, it was very exciting to see the Rolls Royces at the supermarket. Bob Dole stayed a few times at a nice place up the airport road. Winnipesaukee is favored because it is large, so the boating enthusiasts have a lot of room to explore and maneuver. I hadn't known that any of the new money from Microsoft had taken up there, but it's hardly surprising.
Wolfeboro itself is not a particularly wealthy town. There aren't so many jobs in the off-season, so the houses that aren't on or near the water are modest, salt-of-the-earth type places. I think one of the charms for the ultrawealthy over the generations is that the town remains a town in its own right, with regular churches, a few of the tiny museums and historical societies common to NH towns, corner stores, family restaurants. My folks lived there for years, and the family had houses on the water for years before that. My stepbrothers still have vacation homes there, one lake over. I have never been by land down to Springfield Point, where Nicholas will be staying, but I know the road and have been down there by water. I worked in Wolfeboro as a teenager, and have had any number of minor connections to the place over the years. As a map fanatic, I know the geography well.
NH is a good choice in general, because we're very familiar with Secret Service agents crawling around the place and sudden halts for arrogant motorcades every four years. I'm not sure how much we've had to do that on the water, however. The symbolism of Sarkozy visiting America is pretty clear, and provides an interesting contrast to PM Gordon Brown not going to Cape Cod this year, as he usually does.
I rather doubt that the French President will dock at Bailey's and have an ice cream, but he might.