F or nearly a century, the Wolfeboro community has had several families who have owned and operated what is known today as the Baker-Gagne Funeral Home. Although Wolfeboro’s history dates the beginning of this business back to the year 1891, when the business was owned by William B. Hodge, a furniture dealer, it was not until years later that the business ran solely as a funeral home.
Back at the turn of the century, it was customary for families to conduct their own funeral services for their deceased at home. When needed, families would call upon their local cabinetmaker to provide a burial box or casket for their loved one. Furniture dealer William Hodge was Wolfeboro’s first casket maker and he ran the service out of the Brewster Memorial Building—known today as the Town Hall. Hodge’s only service was that of the construction of the burial boxes.
The funeral portion of the business did not expand with the town’s population until 1922, when the Hodge family sold the business to R.E. Jewell. As the funeral business grew, Jewell eventually changed the name of the business from R.E. Jewell and Son to the Jewell Funeral Service, and he moved the business across Main Street to the former home of Dr. Parshley. After 34 years in business, Jewell then sold the business to Gordon Baker, who changed the business name to Baker Memorial Chapel. Baker operated the funeral home for 15 years until A. Denny McLean purchased the home; McLean operated the funeral home across from Town Hall for several years until 1984, when D. Weller Dugan purchased it. Dugan relocated the business to Mill Street, its present location, where it continue to serve Wolfeboro and surrounding towns.
As Wolfeboro’s oldest and longest established funeral home, Baker-Gagne Funeral Home, today under the direction of the Gagne family, continues the many years of tradition by assisting families in the community with making arrangements for their loved one. F. Rick Gagne, who has owned the business since 1991, is a third generation funeral director and has been licensed for more than 20 years in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. He serves as a director of the New Hampshire Funeral Directors Association. Today, Baker-Gagne Funeral Home offers pre-arrangement services, burial insurance, traditional funerals and memorial services to all faiths, and cremation services. We also provide monuments, installations, and lettering and repair work of family cemetery monuments. The Gagnes expanded their services to the West Ossipee area by opening a second funeral home at the site of the old West Ossipee Post Office building on Route 16. The Baker-Gagne Funeral Home and Monument Service is proud to be a part of the Wolfeboro’s history. Our thoughts are with this community; which we are so honored to serve.