The first chairlift in New England was built in Gilford, New Hampshire, at what is now called the Gunstock ski area. It was built in 1937 and began operation in January, 1938, making it the fourth chairlift in the United States. As part of the recovery plan from the previous Great Depression, Belknap County tapped into New Deal funding to build the Belknap Mountain Recreation Area now called Gunstock.
The 3200′ chairlift was actually on Mt. Rowe which is located right next to the current Gunstock area. Its commanding view of Lake Winnipesaukee made it a popular summer attraction as well as a winter ski lift. Visit http://www.weirsbeach.com/newmedia/12views/view11.html to see many historical pictures of the chairlift and related area.
The chairlift was removed in 1980 and the Mt. Rowe trails, although still visible, have been allowed to return to nature. Now all lift-served skiing is on the larger, higher Gunstock mountain. (http://www.gunstock.com/)
Stowe does get the honor of being the second chairlift in New England and this December marks the 70th anniversary of the old Mt Mansfield single chair. I believe the actual anniversary was on December 9th.