Tagg Romney said the family is “focused on getting him elected, and we’re not focused on anything beyond that. We will not talk about if he wins, what does it mean for the family. We think it’s bad form to talk about that stuff if you don’t know whether you’ll get there or not.”
Romney’s 13-acre estate features a six-bedroom house, a horse stable with guest apartments above it, a $630,000 boat house, tennis and volleyball courts and a shoreline stretching 768 feet, more than double the length of a football field, according to public property records.
Romney and his wife, Ann, purchased the home in 1997 for $2.5 million and later bought adjoining land. This year, records show, the estate was assessed at $8 million.
It’s a property big enough to fit everyone, although the five sons have been e-mailing to negotiate sleeping arrangements. Some grandchildren will be relegated to couches and air mattresses.
Mitt Romney first vacationed in Wolfeboro with his father, George, at the estate of family friend J.W. Marriott, the hotel magnate. Over the years, many other well-to-do Mormon families have made the town their summer home, too, and on Sundays the Romneys join them at church on North Main Street.
The Romneys like to gather here around the Fourth of July, when Wolfeboro has what one resident called a “bang-up parade,” complete with a “lawn chair brigade” that performs routines tossing folding chairs in the air. Mitt Romney and his family plan to march in Wednesday’s parade, likely his only campaign event during his first full week of vacation since last summer.
“It’s the week that most of us look forward to more than any other week of the year,” Tagg Romney said. He added that his father “loves spending time with his grandkids. He reads them books, he takes them on boat rides, he takes them on bike rides and family walks.”
In Wolfeboro, dubbed “the oldest summer resort in America,” Romney’s neighbors said he and his family mostly keep to themselves. John Corf, who lives in a small home on an adjoining property, called Romney “a fine neighbor,” but added, “I’m not involved socially with them.” Corf said he has not seen Romney since last summer, when he bought Romney’s book, “No Apology,” and asked for his autograph. Romney walked over to Corf’s house to sign it.
Many residents here said they support Romney’s campaign but worry about the impact a win could have on this quaint hamlet of about 6,000. Again and again, shop owners along Main Street said they feared Wolfeboro turning into Kennebunkport, the seashore town where traffic and development boomed during George H. W. Bush’s presidency.