Ossipee Lake Webcam Ticks off Two Neighbors

Ossipee — September 17, 2008 — Some folks can’t stop staring into the “medicinal” sapphire deep of Lake Ossipee — even if it means a telecommute. It’s so alluring, lakeside second-home owners from Massachusetts to Florida are pulling up John Rowe’s webcam video feed of Broad Bay on their home computers.

Stuck hundreds of miles away in primary residences, they long for the fleeting glimpses of their lake’s storied beauty only the Internet can provide, day or night.

Rowe, an owner of Canoe King on Route 16, sends the 365-day a year feed on “www.canoeking.com,” to the delight of part-time lake dwellers like John and Fran Conner.

“We love checking out the bay view from our winter home in Naples, Fla.,” wrote Rowe’s Osspiee Lake neighbors.

But two other neighbors don’t see it that way.

“It’s creating a nuisance for us,” Doug Brown told Ossipee selectmen last month, according to the Carroll County Independent. “We’ve consulted the town’s zoning book and believe it’s illegal to be there; we’re in a rural area.”

Brown complained the cam violates zoning rules because he claimed it promotes Rowe’s business. Brown’s wife, Donna, said the camera “points on to her beach property,” the Independent reported. But town zoning enforcement officer Dave Senecal said it’s “highly doubtful” the cam can be a considered profit-making commercial enterprise, calling it a civil matter in which the town is not involved.

The Browns could not be reached.

The Ossipee Lake Alliance, a politically-active group of lake-front homeowners, said it received 21 comments in 15 hours after it ran the story on its website. Most, if not all, loved the cam, and the mist-clouded backdrop of legendary Mount Chocorua.

“The view of Broad Bay has never been commercial in my view but medicinal,” wrote Steve Foley. “I find comfort in my computer’s background of the lake and all its natural wonder and with the click of a mouse being able to see it live from here in Plymouth Mass.”

Amy Clark wrote, “When living in the city gets to be a hassle, looking at the lake is a perfect antidote.”


  1. Pat Clark 16 years ago September 16, 2008

    As I wrote before, I love the Webcam view – so please don’t remove it!

  2. Dick Phillips 16 years ago September 16, 2008

    From the 1920’s to the 1960’s my family summered on Broad and Berry Bays, I lived on the big lake from the ’70’s to the ’90’s, so of course I think the webcam is great. I miss th elake and Mt. Chocorua, don’t let them take it down.

  3. Allie 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    i happen to go there often too and have noticed how dangerous it is to have a web cam. i have looked over to where it is and have seen what must be, the Brown’s family (children) trying to enjoy there beach and swim with jet skis and prop boats coming way too close to shore, yelling and waving at the cam. the lake was meant for everyone to enjoy, including them. i’m luckly not as close to the web cam and i can only imagine the trouble they are going through. I would not want my children’s lives to be endangered by idiots driving in very shallow waters with props to wave at a web cam. what is more important? saftey and enjoying the peace of the lake or placing people in harm’s way and disrupting someone else’s great “home away from home”
    i’m just asking you to look at it from their prospective. i would not want it pointing over my beach where i have small children that need to be protected. everyone is bashing them without thinking about it pointing over their beach. i don’t think they want to take it down, i just think they dont want it over their beach.

  4. Stacy 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    I have seen the web cam and agree it is a very beautiful view and I understand how this could seem medicinal to those who do not have the opportunities those of us in New England take for granted.
    However, it seems as though no one wants to compromise on this issue. Are there trees obstructing the view were the camera to be turned away from Brown’s property?
    One thing to keep in mind, if the view is so close to the beach, what happens if someone is swimming? It must be fun to look for family on it, but if someone is so busy trying to make sure family enjoying this breath-taking view can see them, who is looking out for swimmers? And the water honestly can’t be all that deep that close to shore… The lake house my friend owns in Shapleigh, Maine, has restrictions about going too close to shore with propellers at a certain speed. Aren’t there similar restrictions in New Hampshire. I’m sure the Coast Guard would have no trouble revoking licenses and what-not.
    Web cams are a great way to get tourists to our area, in turn helping our economy. But how far is too far? If someone asks it to be turned for the safety of their children and out of respect for their privacy, who is to blame them? It is selfish to not take their point of view into account. I have seen very hurtful comments left by less kind people who should think about this from the Brown’s side. What if it were their kids?
    People wonder why the world is so hard and unforgiving… maybe we should take the first step to making it better by respecting someone’s wishes and looking out for even just our neighbors.

  5. Broad Bay Resident 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    As I stated before & being a resident of Broad Bay for 37 years. To me it is a great “Public Service” and appreciate the time, and effort John took to implement. I understand there is complaint that it generating excessive unsafe boat traffic. For the past few years from June – September we put up with far more “excessive boat traffic & Public Nuisance” than Mr. Brown could ever imagine. We have seen jet skis crash into boats multiple times, boats almost hitting each other, and inconciderate operators too close to shore. This is in my mind a Marine Patroll enforcement issue. As for the violation of privacy, on any given weekend there must be 100 boats that pass by our dock & I enjoy the occasional “good morning” or friendly wave.
    I don’t knock the Brown’s for filing a complaint, it’s his right but I strongly feel it’s UNWARRANTED to place blame on the WebCam. Now that the summer season is over I expect his issues go away, and if so he should focus his efforts on Marine Patrol enforcement of boating regulations.

  6. Mike D 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    I’ve been on the lake for 11 years and haven’t noticed any increase in traffic in that area due to a webcam. It also seems that people are referring to this webcam as if it had a telephoto lens. To be honest I’ve never even noticed the camp or people on the beach. I’m looking at the lake and view in general. People too close and too fast near a beach, look anywhere on the lake and you could see that. A call to the Marine Patrol or copy some bow numbers ? Lets not blame the tax rate on the webcam too. I also do not see it as a commercial tool or something to generate business. I see it as sharing something beautiful, to many of us that can not be there as much as often as we would like. Ease up, enjoy the lake and please keep the camera.

  7. Don Macleod 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    You’re wasting quality time at the lake if you’re going to spend it indulging your annoyances. The majority of boaters are responsible but like all groups have their percentage of problem causing individuals.

    The webcam would seem more an enforcement & safety asset if such idiots are actually willing to demonstrate their bad behavior on camera.

    Hold Fast

  8. Miguel Diocuore 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    Much Ado About Nothing
    (but not as entertaining)
    You’ve been glued to daytime drama for years, and now you think you could write for your favorite soap opera. It seems like all you need to do is take your favorite characters and find new ways for them to stab each other in the back, have elicit affairs and then blame everything on someone else. Could you really be a soap opera writer? You never know until you try.

  9. Mark S 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    My understanding from my local police department (because I have security cameras on my house) is that in NH, home owners have the right to place cameras from their property pointing in any direction. Which he claims is different then in MA and other states .

    This is the first time I have viewed the WebCam and I was expecting something more invasive.
    The quality is great but it seems that it would be hard to determine if anyone was on the beach across the lake? But of course that’s not my house in the continous video stream.
    This seems to be a case of what legally you can do as a neighbor and what your neighbor thinks a “good” neighbor should do – welcome to NH.

    Thank you to Ossipee Lake Alliance for picking the interesting local stories!
    Keep up the great work!

  10. Berna 16 years ago September 17, 2008

    I love seeing the lake any time any day. It makes it seem like we are back in Ossipee. Could they point the webcam in another direction? Thanks for allow us to see the lake from our homes 🙂

  11. Barbara W 16 years ago September 19, 2008

    I hope the Brown’s (Neighbors) stop bickering and realize the web cam is not pointing to their property when the look at the arierl view. I have been on lake a lot this summer and can see the Neighbors property from mine and have not seen all the traffic they are talking about. You might see one or two at most party boat looking at web cam in front of John’s home and four or five kayaks passing by. Their company were out there one day looking toward the cam and waving at it. Lets stop these accusations.