Built in 1914 for shoe manufacturer Thomas Gustave Plant, the Arts & Crafts estate originally called ‘Lucknow’ was designed by the Boston architectural firm of J. Williams Beal & Sons and crafted by stone masons and ship-builders. The house was sited on the high-altitude rim of an extinct caldera within Ossipee Mountain Park, a nature preserve which the Plants purchased to create their 6,300-acre estate. The mountaintop position offers expansive panoramic views of the surrounding picturesque lakes, hills, and distant mountains.
The Plants raised flora in their adjacent greenhouse for the estate’s gardens. Behind the house, a large circular fountain lined with stones occupies the center of a terraced lawn. The lawn, made level with a tall retaining wall that steps down the mountainside, is edged with rustic fencing and rockwork posts that also serve as planters for seasonal flower display. A brown painted, wooden pergola extends from the house in a gentle curve, lined with beds of herbaceous flowers and terminating in a circular belvedere which is supported by posts on a boulder seat wall. Less formal stone paths wrap the edge of the lawn’s retaining wall, offering access to the surrounding woodlands, ponds and waterfalls, and extensive trail network.
Following Thomas Plant’s death in 1941, the estate was sold to family friends. In 1959 it was bequeathed to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and opened to the public.