Glen Rock Before the Duttons

An article published in the Boston Journal on March 23, 1910, p. 8, noted that Benjamin F. Dutton’s home in Malden, Glen Rock, “is one of the most attractive estates in New England.” The article went on to say that the main house where Benjamin Dutton resided “would remind one of a castle [and] was built about forty years ago by George Lochman, who represented in Boston extensive coal interests in Pennsylvania.”

This would suggest that the house was built sometime around 1870. Benjamin Dutton purchased the property from Lochman on October 1, 1878, for $30,000. The purchase consisted of 50.75 acres of land, the main house, and several other buildings. Dutton would eventually expand the estate through the purchase of more land, and over the years he improved the main house, constructed houses for his children, and built the large three-story barn for his horses.

Stephen Jerome of Boston (who owns the Dutton commemorative plate described in my blog post of September 2, 2014) recently sent me two clippings he found in the Boston Daily Evening Traveller newspaper, dated in 1871 and 1872, respectively. The first clipping indicates that Lochman desired to sell the property as early as 1871 and provides a detailed description of the house and grounds before Benjamin Dutton took ownership. Perhaps this was how he first learned about the Glen Rock estate.


The “cottage,” located “a few hundred feet lower down in the valley,” probably refers to the house later occupied by Benjamin’s eldest daughter Ellen Dutton, who married musician Joseph B. Claus. In early Malden city directories, Ellen’s house was called “Glen Rock Cottage.”

The “Lofty Rock Summit” undoubtedly refers to Tea Rock, which hovered above the estate and had a gazebo, or summer house, built at the top.  This photo shows the view from Tea Rock today, showing the city of Boston in the distance.


On June 7, 1872, nearly a year after publishing his ad to sell the property, George Lochman auctioned the contents of the house. The auction notice, the second clipping sent to me by Stephen Jerome, was published in the Daily Evening Traveller on June 3, 1872. While the paper is faded and difficult to read in parts (especially the names of the artists), the notice gives an interesting insight into Lochman’s lifestyle and interests.



Memories of Dutton’s Island

By Richard Houghton Morrison

The island is located in Umbagog Lake in Errol, New Hampshire. My grandfather Harry Dutton built a camp on this island 1898-1905. I was told that the cost to build the camp was around $105,000, which today would be in the millions.

I am Richard Houghton Morrison, the last living grandchild of Harry Dutton. My mother was Alice Dutton Morrison, youngest daughter of Harry. I spent every summer at the island from age six months to seventeen years old.

I am going to take you on a written tour of the island as I remember it.

We used to land our boat at the inlet on the east side of the island. Located there was a wooden wharf and granite steps to the island.

The main house was on the right and straight ahead was the ice house. This was a building approximately 20′ by 30′. Inside was a bulkhead that contained sawdust. In the winter, workers would cut out blocks of ice to be used in the two large ice chests located in a pantry off the kitchen. The ice blocks were stored in sawdust.

We will now proceed south to a building called the Guides’ Camp. As you entered this building you were in a hall. In a room on the left were two large Kohler diesel-driven generators that delivered DC current for the lights at the camp. Two rooms on the right housed gasoline-engine-driven water pumps. These pumps pumped water from the lake to a large tank located near the top of the lighthouse. The water from the tank fed the flush toilets and sinks located in the five bathrooms. It also fed the sinks located in the kitchen and pantry. Moving down the hall, a utility room was on the left and on the right was a bathroom, and then stairs to the attic that was used for storage. At the end of the hall there was a large living room with a big potbelly stove in the middle.

There were four bedrooms and two were located on either side of the living room. The help lived here and had their meals in the kitchen of the main house.

We will now head north to the main house. When we arrived for the summer we would always enter the house through the kitchen. You entered the pantry that contained the two large ice chests, one on either side.

We now proceed into the large kitchen; countertops on the left, large sink at the end. In the middle of the back was a large, black, iron, wood-burning stove with two ovens controlled by a damper in the flue. The west wall had various cabinets and a door to the porch. On the north side was a very large table and chairs where the help ate. Next to the table was a doorway entering into a large pantry that contained a sink and many cabinets. Also located here was the maid-calling station. From this pantry on and throughout the entire camp, only cherry wood and tulip wood was used on all walls and ceilings.

We now enter the dining room through swinging doors. The dining room had a large table that could be enlarged with leaves. We used the table at its smallest size (eight chairs). It could be enlarged to seat sixteen. Windows on the west side afforded a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. On the east side was a large fireplace with a lovely mantel piece. The ceiling in this room and the living room was sixteen feet high.

I am now going to take you to the front door entering the living room. I can better explain this room from the entrance. As you entered this room you were looking at a huge fireplace with a large bull moose mounted over it. To the left was a tall music box that played large, round, metal disks with holes in them. On this side of the room was the door to Harry and Alice’s bedroom. Next was a large, red velvet couch with ornate gold armrests. Next to this was a large piano and as we turned the corner a cabinet holding cue sticks and pool equipment was located here next to the fireplace. On this side of the room was a standard-sized pool table. Continuing on past the fireplace you came to the open entrance to the dining room. On the west wall were chairs, tables and lamps. One chair of interest was Harry’s buffalo chair done in an off-red leather with actual buffalo horns. An L-shaped couch with large cushions was in the corner. On this side of the room were many chairs and tables. Around the periphery of the room about ten feet up were deer heads, lynx heads, stuffed fish and many other animal heads. A stuffed black bear cub was located next to the fireplace on the right. The cub held an ashtray in his paws.


We will now proceed into Harry and Alice’s bedroom, which was off the living room. This was a large bedroom with twin beds, two large bureaus, a table with a lamp between the beds and a large fireplace. The master bath had a tub, fireplace, sink and a flush toilet. Off of this bedroom was Harry’s den and office. This room was small and had a fireplace with a bench seat on either side, somewhat like a booth at a restaurant, but larger. On the other side of the left bench seat was a large rolltop desk. Harry had a back door in this room so he could leave without being disturbed. Next to this room was a large walk-in closet.

Next was a corner bedroom with twin beds, dresser, table, private bath and a walk-in closet. This was the bedroom I slept in. This room also had a fireplace.

We now proceed to four similar bedrooms, all with brass double beds, dressers, walk-in closets and a fireplace. These rooms shared two bathrooms. The end bedroom was larger with a double bed, private bath, fireplace, dresser, tables and a walk-in closet. All bedrooms had their own door leading to the large wrap-around porch. The porch had five large stairways to the ground, one on the east, two on the north and two on the west.

A double door entrance at ground level near the wharf led you into a storage area that ran under the porch around the entire periphery of the camp. In here were canoes, rowboats, wood storage piles, boxes, boxes of clay pigeons for skeet, and many other miscellaneous items.

The entire U-shaped main house had a large porch all around it. The northwest corner of the porch had a walkway to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built to house a large water tank near the top. As you walked into the lighthouse, you entered a room with all kinds of closets and cabinets that were used for storage. On the left of the the room was a stairway that circled around the water tank and took you to a room at the top of the lighthouse. This room had a large light that was used as a beacon at night. There was a circular walkway around the top of the lighthouse, with a great view in any direction.


Richard E. Pinette, Northwoods Echoes (the author, 1986), 15-20:
— The Ojibway was 30′ long, not 26′.
— The solid brass cannon was mounted on a steamboat named the Valantta.
— The stone watchtower was actually called the lighthouse.
— There was not any pipe laid across the lake to Tyler Cove. Drinking water came from a natural spring located in B Cove. A wooden trough was installed from the spring to the edge of the lake. Five-gallon cart boys were filled here.

Joseph Crook Anderson II, The Duttons of Glen Rock, Malden, Massachusetts: An Updated Account (the author, 2013), 74-78:
— Richard H. Morrison was born in 1931.
— The main house on Dutton’s Island was U-shaped, not circular. Harry and Alice’s bedroom was located next to the living room in the front of the camp.
— The room off the master bedroom was not a card room. See my description above.
— The living room had only one large fireplace.
— The porch extended to the lighthouse at the northwest corner.
— My grandfather had a telephone line laid on the bottom of the lake to Tyler Cove. The line then ran to the lake house hotel in Upton, Maine.

B. F. Dutton Commemorative Plate

I was recently contacted by Mr. Stephen Jerome of Boston about a decorative plate that he recently acquired. He bought the plate at a yard sale in Jamaica Plain from a vendor of various china objects who had his wares spread out on a blanket on the grass. Mr. Jerome has graciously allowed me to post a photograph of it on this blog.

BFD plate

The plate carries the date of October 14, 1913, which was Benjamin F. Dutton’s 82nd birthday, so it was apparently produced  in commemoration of that occasion. I don’t know the identity of “C.H.T.” who gave B. F. Dutton the plate. The picture in the center of the plate is of the Dutton homestead in Hillsboro, New Hampshire, where B. F. Dutton was born. This is most likely the property that B. F. Dutton’s grandfather, Jeremiah Dutton, had purchased in 1802, and it remained in the family well into the twentieth century, known into modern times as the Dutton Farm.

In its issue of Oct. 16, 1913, p. 4, The Boston Globe took notice of the prominent businessman’s birthday:

Malden, Oct. 15–Benjamin Franklin Dutton of Glen Rock, a founder of the firm of Houghton & Dutton Co. of Boston, is receiving congratulations upon reaching his 82d birthday, which came yesterday. Although there was no formal observance of the occasion, Mr. Dutton received numerous remembrances from friends, relatives and business associates.

Mr. Dutton is active and spends a few hours each day at his place of business in Boston. He is an enthusiastic baseball fan and witnessed many games in Boston the past season. He is a native of Hillsboro, N.H., and has lived in this city 33 years. He has 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

It would appear that Mr. Jerome’s plate was one of the “numerous remembrances from friends, relatives and business associates” to mark the auspicious occasion.

Nina Dutton’s Engagements: Testing the Family Lore

The story that has been passed down in the family has never lacked for sensationalism:

Nina Dutton, the youngest daughter of B. F. Dutton, fell in love with a local doctor and they soon became engaged. Great preparations were made for the wedding. Invitations were sent out and presents were pouring in. But suddenly one day, a woman with a baby in her arms visited B. F. Dutton in his offices at the Houghton & Dutton store and showed him papers proving she was married to Dr. Jones. The marriage was immediately called off and poor distraught Nina was sent to Europe to her Aunt Ellie to recover. Upon her return to America, Nina met John Everhart, a lawyer from Pennsylvania, and they were soon married at Glen Rock, the ceremony being a much smaller affair than the original one planned for her. A few years later, Everhart died suddenly, leaving Nina with two small children. Nina eventually got back together with Dr. Jones and they were married, but against the wishes of her family. The resentment against Dr. Jones among the Duttons was such that he and Nina moved away from Malden to Cape Cod, where they lived the remainder of their lives.

That is the official story. Newspaper accounts, however, reveal it was more complicated than that.

Massachusetts vital records show that Nina and John Everhart were married on September 19, 1900. If the official story above is true, then it can be estimated that her ill-fated first engagement to Dr. Jones probably took place about 1898 or 1899. Surprisingly, the first engagement notice found for Nina in the Boston papers is dated several years earlier than that, and the intended groom was not Dr. Jones!

In the Boston Daily Advertiser of November 2, 1896, the following announcement was published:


At the time of this announcement, Nina was 21 years old and Everhart was 37. For reasons unknown, the marriage did not take place, but this shows that Nina did not first meet Everhart after calling off her engagement to Dr. Jones. She had known him much longer than that.

On January 27, 1898, more than a year later, Nina applied for a U.S. passport, stating that she was “about to go abroad temporarily” and that she “intend[ed] to return to the United States in six months.” A week later, the Boston Herald reported that “Mrs. B. F. Dutton went over to New York on Friday with her daughter, Miss Nina Dutton, who sailed on the North German Lloyd Line yesterday for a four months’ trip abroad.”

Nina was back home in Malden by the summer, since on September 19, 1898, her engagement to Dr. Jones was reported in the Boston Daily Advertiser:


Nina was now 23 and Dr. Jones was a 33-year-old physician with an established practice in Malden. What is particularly extraordinary about this announcement is that it was published on September 19 and the wedding was scheduled for October 6—only two weeks and three days later! This was definitely not the large wedding that family tradition claims was being planned, there hardly being enough time to send out invitations and receive the multitudes of presents that were supposedly flowing in.

It is unclear why the youngest daughter of one of the Boston area’s most prominent families would have wanted such a rushed wedding, and there is obviously more to this story than we know. The “woman with the baby” claim seems doubtful, however, as there is no official Massachusetts vital record that Dr. Jones had been previously married and no record of his fathering a child. Nevertheless, whatever happened, Dr. Jones became persona non grata within the larger Dutton family and again Nina’s engagement was cancelled.

Nina promptly went off, or was sent off, to Europe. While there was no notice of her departure in the Boston papers, the Malden newspaper reported in early July 1899 that Mr. and Mrs. [B. F.] Dutton and Mr. and Mrs. George Dutton “all sailed on the New England this week to pass a few weeks in Europe, to join Mrs. J. B. Claus [i.e., their daughter Ellie] and Miss Nina Dutton, who have been abroad a year [sic].” Mr. B. F. Dutton and wife, Mr. G. C. Dutton and wife, and Miss Nina Dutton all returned to Boston on the New England, which sailed from Liverpool on October 12 and arrived in Boston on October 20, according to the ship’s passenger list.

The rest of Nina’s story falls in line with the family tradition. She became re-engaged to John Everhart and married him the next year. Daughters Helen and Mary were born in 1902 and 1904, respectively. Everhart died the same year Mary was born, and Nina moved back to Glen Rock with her two small children. By 1908 she was seeing Dr. Jones again and they were married in a very small ceremony in Hillsboro, N.H., on September 29.

When B. F. and Harriet Dutton had their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in March 1910, Nina and her family did not take part in the festivities, at least none of them were present for the elaborate family portrait taken on the occasion. The month after the party, Nina’s son Louis B. Jones was born in Malden, and soon after the Joneses moved to Falmouth on the Cape and lived there the rest of their lives.

Nuptials for BF Dutton’s Great Great Great Granddaughter

On Saturday, July 12, Lizzie Anderson married Neel Ray in New York City. Lizzie is a daughter of the late Harry B. Anderson III, granddaughter of Claire Matz Anderson of Princeton, N.J., great granddaughter of Claire Dutton McGregor Matz, great great granddaughter of Claire Dutton McGregor, and great great great grandaughter of Benjamin Franklin Dutton. In addition to Lizzie, B.F. Dutton descendants in attendance were her grandmother Claire Matz Anderson; uncles Alexander M. Anderson, Joseph C. Anderson, and Jeffrey M. Anderson; sister Claire M. M. Anderson; cousins Alexander M. Anderson Jr., Christopher A. Anderson, Sara B. Anderson, Louise E. Anderson, and Stephanie M. Anderson; and first cousin once removed Jennifer Horn Schuppert. It was a happy occasion enjoyed by all.

From The New York Times:

AndersonRay Wedding

Harry Dutton’s Lighthouse Today

The power of the Internet never fails to amaze me! Yesterday evening, I received an email from Mark [last name not given] who is familiar with Metallak Island in Lake Umbagog, the site of Harry Dutton’s camp. It would seem that Mark lives in the area and had seen this blog. He wrote:

 I took this picture of the lighthouse over the winter. The current owner built a gazebo on the old foundation. There has been a mobile home on the island for years. The old foundations are still intact. If I get a chance I will try to get you current pictures of the island.

The two pictures he attached are shown below:

Lighthouse Gazebo

Metallak Island mobile home

This confirms that the two structures seen on the aerial photo of the island (see my blog post below of April 3, 2014) are indeed the lighthouse and the mobile home pictured above.

My thanks to Mark for taking the time to send these interesting photos.