Tom and Olive Plant’s mountaintop estate "Lucknow", built in 1913-1914 high in the Ossipee Mountain Range with a breathtaking vista of Lake Winnipesaukee and the hills and mountains beyond. Known since the 1960s as the Castle in the Clouds, the house is an unusual example of Arts and Crafts architecture in New England, expressing that aesthetic movement’s philosophy of living in harmony with nature. Designed by the architectural firm of J. Williams Beal & Sons of Boston, the house not only exhibits skilled hand craftsmanship in every aspect of its interior and exterior, but also features a number of technological innovations of the early 20th Century.
Thomas Gustave Plant (1859-1941) made his fortune in the shoe manufacturing industry, retiring as a millionaire at age fifty-one, having sold his business to the United Shoe Machinery Company in 1910. Newly married in 1913, Plant then focused on the creation of his New Hampshire country estate. In addition to buying the property known as Ossipee Mountain Park, Plant accumulated land from the Ossipee Mountains all the way to Lake Winnipesaukee, eventually owning 6,300 acres.
After a series of failed investments, Plant attempted, from the mid-1920s through the era of the Great Depression, to sell the mountaintop estate. However, no buyer was found, and the Plants continued to live at "Lucknow" until Tom Plant’s death in 1941, at which time the property was sold. Plant's desire to maintain the integrity of his mountaintop estate property and the stewardship of the families who owned the property since his time have ensured that "Lucknow" survived in close to its original state and that its magnificent natural setting can be enjoyed by all today.
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