History of the Cove Lodge

“The roof of the Cove lodge at Camp Kehonka has 44 pitches. If you count them a second or third time you get slightly different figures. Then you might add the four sections of original roof which are now inside the building. A rain drop landing on this roof could roll down any of fifteen valleys.

The inside of the building is segmented by what used to be outside walls. Some windows with double sashes simply look from one room to the next. One stairway has ascended in three different spots. Any wall with a row of windows probably used to belong to an open porch.

The lodge was born in 1910, the year that Kehonka moved to its present property. A living room and kitchen were joined together by an outdoor walkway, and behind the kitchen stood the ice house. Each section was rectangular, with a simple gable roof.

Two rectangles were linked after several years by a trapezoid. The lower level of the trapezoid was in turn squared to a previous porch line.

There followed alcoves and dormers and outside stairways and more porches. The roof jogged wherever it had to, rounding one corner like a fan, and joining gables of various heights.

The dining room accommodated a tree through the floor and ceiling for 25 years. As the trunk diameter neared two feet, the tree jarred the building whenever the wind blew.

Part of the dining room wall was cut open for a six-foot-high wooden duck on wheels. A trap door was chopped through the floor to let in campers one by one for an end-of-season banquet. The notorious hurricane of September ‘38 played a giant game of jackstraws over the building, toppling 70 trees onto or against it.

Today the building holds a kitchen and dining room for 140, a large living room with stage, a library, costume room, offices, store rooms, wash rooms and the Kehonka Yacht Club. The old ice house now contains food, and is called “Where the Fun Begins”.

The lodge conveys the oldest and newest of Kehonka. The living room still has the hooks of hammocks used in 1911 by two staff men, including current director, A. Cooper Ballentine. Brass lanterns crafted by campers during the 1910’s decorate the walls. As for the new, the yacht club downstairs houses two frisky windsurfers. Since 1910 the lodge has endured and changed.”

–Bruce Ballentine
This was part of an article published in The GRANITE STATE NEWS, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Wednesday, November 4, 1981.

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