Wolfeboro Legend Monte-zuma
This is the true story of a character from Wolfeboro Falls called Monte…Monte-zuma in full. This wasn’t his real name but that’s what the local boys used to call him back in the late 1950’s.
Anyone familiar with the Smith River Canoe Race in Wolfeboro Falls knows where he lived because it is right on the opposite shoreline in a 12×8′ ft sturdy shack 80 yards down from the rapids. To this day, there is a sunken wooden platform covered in slippery moss that he used to get back and forth across the river. Back then, the wooden platform was above water and Monte covered it with corrugated roofing to keep it from getting wet. The roofing was also nice and loud in case he had any visitors which will come later in the story.Monte was the night watchman and maintenance man for the Wolfeboro Mills that used to exist along that long flat stretch of river across from his shack. He had a pigeon coup right at the edge of the river and he raised the pigeons for food. He also enjoyed eating fish he caught from the river.
Monte wasn’t a lean scraggly-old hermit but actually clean shaven and roundly with a receding hairline. He didn’t mind a visitor now and again; he was known to serve his guests soda biscuits and peanut butter from his outdoor stone fireplace. He entertained with a pet racoon and a blue jay that he spoke to as if they were his children.
One night some local boys were camping out in Wolfeboro Falls and they decided it would be a good idea to give old Monte a scare. Ronnie Keslar was up for the task and started across the wooden platform on the river until the corrugated roofing gave him up. The shack door flew open and Ronnie ran for his life as he heard the bellow and the hammer of the gun. He ran so fast in the darkness that he stumbled to the ground as a bullet went over his head into the sign post above.
Monte wasn’t bothered much at night by the boys again. It wasn’t until a Mr. Malone purchased the mill and it was converted from excelsior to t-shirt manufacturing that Monte was forced to move on. His shack was burned to the ground and all that remains is the sunken wooden platform and stones from the outdoor fireplace.