Heritage and History

The heritage and history of the Rocks Estate can be followed on our walking tour of the estate.

The Rocks Estate has an impressive and colorful history starting on September 17th 1882.

John Glessner, successful Chicago business man falls in love with and buys 100 acres from Mr. and Mrs. Oren Streeter for $2300 and The Rocks Estate is established.

In 1883 Glessner had the Big House built. Designed by Isaac Elwood Scott this 19 room mansion sat on top of a hill with a spectacular view. The cost for the house was between $10,000 and $15,000.

The Carriage Barn

The Carriage Barn (above), designed by Isaac Elwood Scott was built in 1884. The coachman lived above the stables in this building.

Some of the buildings at the Rocks were purposely built for the hobbies the Glessner's like the Bee House designed for Mrs. Glessner as she was an apiarist. Other buildings were designed for the pleasure of the Glessner's guests while visiting.

The Big Rock Summer House was one of many shelters or gazeboes that the Glessner's had constructed for their guests to enjoy while visiting the grounds. All of the small buildings have been renovated using private donations, for more information about donating to these projects please contact Nigel Manley info@therocks.org

In 1906 the Tool Building was erected. John Glessner brought the first tractors from the flat mid-west farms to the upland hill farms of northern New Hampshire. In order to repair the equipment the Tool Building had a complete metal work shop, garages and blacksmith shop.

John & Francis

The grounds and gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead's company in the early 1900's. His company advised on all of the landscaping including the striking stone walls.

In 1978 Martha Batchelder and John Lee donated the Rocks Estate to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests so their grandfather's legacy in New Hampshire would be protected forever.

Current Entrance to The Rocks Estate

The Estate is now the North Country Education Center for the Forest Society and is a true multiple use property. You can explore the many uses on this web site or come and visit the historic site at any time during the year.

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