The Rocks Estate In Bethlehem, NH began as a summer home of John Glessner and his family, where he had a 19-room mansion constructed in 1883. Glessner turned the estate into a thriving farm with prize-winning poultry and crops that provided food for the family and staff both at The Rocks Estate and their Chicago home. Over the years, the family added buildings, gardens and land to the estate.
John Glessner’s daughter, Fanny, took permanent residence at The Rocks Estate in 1938. She was interested in medicine and is known for her tiny “murder dollhouses,” which were scale dioramas meticulously designed to train police and detectives on proper observation at crime scenes.
In 1978 the family donated the estate and buildings to the Forest Society with the requirement that there always be a crop in the field. For decades now that crop has been Christmas trees! Most of the land has been allowed to return to its natural forested state and the buildings and stone walls have been restored and maintained.
We visited on a late Spring day and were in awe of the many beautiful stone walls and historic stone buildings. The grounds are absolutely breathtaking, with meticulous landscaping and sweeping views. It is no wonder that this is a popular site for weddings and other special events. It is definitely a magical place.
When we arrived, we met with Nigel Manley, Director of North Country Conservation and Education Center at The Rocks Estate. Nigel gave us a wonderful tour of the property, and pointed out a few rock piles that have collected over the years where we got to picking. This property is just overflowing with rocks! We had a lot of fun chatting with Nigel as we gathered rocks, exchanging stories and learning about the property along the way. Be sure to take a look in our shop to see the amazing variation in color and visual elements within the finished stones that hail from The Rocks Estate. Definitely worth a look!
The Forest Society offers many activities at The Rocks Estate, including springtime maple tours and natural history talks, and their trail system is open daily to visitors. Learn more about The Rocks Estate here or plan a visit!
The Rocks Estate
4 Christmas Lane
Bethlehem, NH 03574