history

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The Cottage Place on Squam Lake, formerly known as The Black Horse Motor Court, has served as a family vacation destination since it was built in 1957 by Milton Graton, New Hampshire's leading expert on the construction and restoration of covered bridges. His son Arnold has maintained the family heritage.

One of Graton's most picturesque bridges arches over the Squam River just one mile from The Cottage Place and several other of his restored covered bridges are just a few miles away from this location. His fascinating and informative, signed book about covered bridges can be purchased from our gift shop. This beautiful region consists of Squam Lake, Little Squam Lake, and Squam River, comprising over 7100 acres. Squam Lake is the second largest lake in New Hampshire. Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest, is only 9 miles away, offering even more Lakes Region activities to our guests. 

Squam was the setting for the Academy Award winning 1981 film On Golden Pond, which starred Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, who both took home Oscars for their heartwarming performances. 

The mother/daughter team of Beverly Smith and Sue Smith purchased this real estate in October of 2002 and have refurbished and restored much of it to its original charm and grace. They use vintage fabrics, braided and hooked wool rugs, table linens, and 'furniture with character' to create the rustic interiors you might have found when you visited grandmother's New Hampshire lake home.

Original Cottage Place Logo Original Black Horse Motel sign View of Graton's Ashland Covered Bridge