It all started with a Russian baron, Boris Witte and his wife Eva when they moved from Alaska to the small town of Moultonborough, New Hampshire in 1946. With a real estate agent, they tramped over fields and woods and swamps, looking for property. Quite by accident, they crossed a little bridge to a huge island, but nothing was for sale. Turning back onto the mainland, they saw a small crudely lettered “for sale” sign. The lake stretched on one side of the road, with a small but beautiful beach on its edge. Up on the hill, almost hidden in the tall pines, was a house. The real estate agent trudged up the hill to speak to the owners and a deal was settled then and there.
They had a house on a lake…so Boris built a boat…a beautiful 14 foot outboard runabout of marine plywood with an oak frame. He named it Jet About and suddenly they were in the boat business. He built 9 boats that first summer which sold as fast as he could get them built. Old boats taken in trade were rented to fisherman. Boats without motors rented for .50 cents an hour, with motors $1.50 an hour. A box with a safety lock, nailed to a tree near the water, was his office. Witte’s Boats and Motors was in business.
By May of the next year, he had filled in part of the lake to make a hunk of land and built a store on it with a dock stretching out into the water. A gas pump was installed at the dock and Gulf gasoline was sold. The store was stocked with all kinds of marine hardware and supplies, fishing tackle, Coca Cola machines, ice cream freezer and even water toys for the children.
After about 6 years, Boris entered the house and announced that some fellow wanted to buy the business…so it was sold to William Prince in 1952. “Doc” Prince expanded the business with more docks and workshops and renamed it Prince’s Boat Yard.
Larry Fone started another marine business next door to Doc Prince and called it Long Island Marina. He built a gold steel shed, a paper shed with a low sloping roof and sandy floor, and a dock with a Mobil gas pump.
In 1968, Don and Jean Ross bought Prince’s Boat Yard and started improving the building and docks. He built a new repair shop and launch ramp. Larry Fone then suggested that Ross buy his business too, combining the two marinas. Don Ross named the new marina Moultonboro Marine.
The Trexler family, looking for a “fun” business to buy, accidently stumbled onto Moultonboro Marine while looking at other businesses in the area. It was not for sale, but a price was negotiated that Don Ross couldn’t refuse. It was April of 1972 and Dick and Betty Trexler became the new owners of Moultonboro Marine. The Trexlers had four sons, ages 19, 17, 15, and 7. When not in school, the 3 older boys were busy washing and waxing boats, pumping gas, shoveling snow, doing whatever needed to be done. Scott, however, being only 7, discovered a love for fishing. He could be found most days out on the dock with a long stick in his hand that his Dad cut from a tree and served as a fishing rod.
In the ensuing years, many more improvements were made, buildings erected and docks enlarged. The lighthouse was built on the front dock and 2 double gas pumps on the dock to service a growing number of customers. In 1978 the name was changed to Trexler’s Marina.
Over the years, Scott maintained his love for fishing and boating. As he grew and matured, he was able to take over more of the duties of running the business. His three older brothers were happily advancing their careers in the southern part of the state. In 1991, Scott married Denise and together they have become an integral part of the business. Over the years, as Betty has retired little by little, Scott has assumed more and more management duties. Denise works in the office taking care of the books, payroll, marine store, dock attendants, and many other things too numerous to mention.
Most days now, you will see their daughter Stephanie behind the counter taking care of boat registrations, fishing licenses, filing and helping customers as well as pumping gas on the front dock. Their son, Quinlan, can usually be found out on the dock with a fishing rod in his hand or washing boats in the service area.
If Boris and Eva Witte were to drive down Moultonboro Neck Road today, they would not recognize the marina located just before the Long Island Bridge. Indeed, it has changed a great deal since they first drove down the road more than 60 years ago. But what has not changed is the homey feeling and warm welcome you get when you walk through the door. Drop in for a chat…or look around…and maybe even have a cup of coffee.