In 1850, the first Ice Skating Club in America was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Zachary Taylor dies and Millard Fillmore becomes the 13th President of The United States. U.S. Senator Daniel Webster gives his “Seventh of March” speech, in which he endorses the Compromise of 1850, in order to prevent a possible Civil War. This is the same Daniel Webster, for which Daniel Webster Highway was named; also known as Route 3 and now a section of Endicott Street North. Also in 1850 on Daniel Webster Highway, the “Grand View Tourist Home” began operation.
Into the early 1930’s, Grand View was owned and operated by members of the Saunders Family and eventually by a daughter-in law, Mrs. Samantha L. Saunders, who in later years became Owner & Proprietor. It was advertised as the “Finest View In New Hampshire” overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. Offering “Quiet Comfortable Rooms by the Day or Week” – Just ring telephone connection Weirs 3243! In the early years, the “targeted” guest demographic included affluent families arriving into the Weirs by train. From this destination, guests would use horse & buggy to reach the Grand View for their vacation stays. Eventually, the rail and horse travel was replaced by the automobile.
In the 1940’s, Grand View expanded with new ownership and the addition of 10-Rustic Cabins. Mrs. Sally A. Rockwood owned the property and added the rustic cabins and the business became known as the “Grand View Lodge & Cabins”. These Cabins were heated by pot-belly stoves and offered the guest a bed, chair & dresser chest. The existing “Grand View Tourist Home”, continued in operation along with the Cabins. Advertising was updated for the day: offering “Large, Comfortable Rooms – Good Beds and Bath, Electric Lights and Hot & Cold Water”. Recreational activities on the premises included Croquet, Quoits (Modern Day Horseshoes…) Dart Ball, Tether Ball and of course, Badminton. Recreational activities nearby included: Movies, Ballroom & Square Dancing, Roller Skating, Bowling, Golf, Tennis, Saddle Horses, Hiking, Seaplane Rides, Fishing and Steamship Rides on the Lake.
As time went by into the late 1950’s, the Grand View was acquired by Nat & Esther Billings. A Large swimming pool was added and in the early 1970’s a 12-Room “Modern Motel Building” was added. The business was now advertised as the “Grand View Modern Resort”. The individual rooms advertised: “The Maximum In Personal Comfort” including: “Colored Television”, “Hi-Pile Shag Carpeting” (Burnt Orange Of Course…) and “Modern Mediterranean Decor”.
In 1982, George and Marilyn Pucci purchased the Grand View, both leaving successful careers in Boston as a Boston Police Sergeant and a Real Estate Principal, respectively. This choice, to go into the hospitality business, was driven by their opportunity to “work at home” while spending more time with family members. The quality of life was good, the area offered the benefits of its natural attractions and it was the perfect mid-career change. Always visiting his family at the Grand View Motel on weekends throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s was son Tom Pucci and his wife Lynda. The same attraction to the Hospitality Business was becoming more of a priority with Tom & Lynda, rather than an idle discussion topic. Plans to some day buy the Grand View became more detailed over the years. There was no rush for George & Marilyn to retire. Likewise, Tom & Lynda had their own successful careers in Boston with Chubb & Son and J.P. Morgan-Chase. Tom and Lynda did eventually take over ownership until 2016.
In 2017, a change in ownership took place. The current owners of “Grand View Scenic Resort” have years of experience in the Lakes Region and have begun the process of renewal that started with the complete renovation and upgrading of the Motel and Suites in May of 2017. Then in Winter/Spring 2018, four of the cottages were completely renovated and one was built new. The goal is to complete them all in the next few seasons. What remains unchanged over the years: The “Grand View Scenic Resort” still has “The Finest View in New Hampshire” and we are still located on Daniel Webster Highway!