About Us

The webmaster in 1948 watering plants rimming the fountain pool at Lucknow.

The Lucknow website was designed and its pages written by Ron Tobey. Over the past ten years, however, the pages have been so corrected and amended by the many friends of the estate and members of the families of owners, it is only slightly an exaggeration to say the website is the product of collaboration. I have credited my correspondents on each page as appropriate. Again I say, thank you!

Ron Tobey is a grandson of Fred C. Tobey, the second owner of Lucknow, who purchased the estate in 1942. Like the other children and grandchildren of Fred and Susan Tobey, I (to take the personal pronoun) often visited the "castle" with my family in the warm months from June through October when my grandmother, Susan Colby Tobey, whom we called "Nana", lived there.

My father, George Tobey, worked for his father, running Tobey Lumber Company for most of the years that Fred owned Lucknow. My Dad logged the estate's forests for his father, which paid for the estate. In the Winter months, in addition to accompanying my Dad occasionally when he was logging, I also hunted deer with him on the estate. My father was a close friend of the estate caretaker, Joe Stevens, who lived year-round with his wife in the carriage house. He and Joe would spend several Fall weekends, before deer season, at an impromptu shooting range, sighting in our hunting rifles. Mother and Martha, Joe's wife, prepared picnic lunches, and we sat nearby as their rifle shots rang through the woods. My most vivid hunting memories are at the estate. (By the way, I never got a deer there—or anywhere, though Dad regularly did.)

The castle was the setting for the family gathering that brought Fred and Susan Tobey's large family of seven children and their families together. The earliest such gathering of which I have any memory came in 1944, when Grampa and Nana brought the family together in September for my father when he was shortly to be shipped off to Europe to fight in the War. The last such gathering came in 2002, when my cousin, David Tobey, and his wife, Jan, organized a family reunion at Lucknow. It was a wonderful reunion and party where many of us had one of our last opportunities to see many of our relations with whom we had grown up in the 1940s and 1950s.

Tobey family gathering at Lucknow in September, 1944. The occasion was a party for my father (second from the left, back row, in the Army uniform), who was shortly to ship out to Europe. He fought in Italy and Germany, receiving two Purple Hearts. I am not in this photo. I was undoubtedly sleeping in the nursery, which my grandmother converted from the sewing room on the second floor of the mansion. My mother is beside my father, third from the left in the back row.

This photograph and others are published at my family web page, tobeyfamily.org.

Lucknow was a special part of my life when I was growing up in Plymouth, New Hampshire, the small village which had been the Tobey home for three generations—since before the 1870s. When I left for the University of New Hampshire, I believed confidently that my life would shortly return me to northern New  England, where I would continue to live near my large family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. This did not happen. My career took me far away, eventually to California; despite efforts to bring my career back to New England, I was not able to return to the "mother country", as one of my students once called the region.

I created the Lucknow website to enjoy my memories of my family at Lucknow and share them with others. I have redesigned the website to enable other families and friends of the Castle also to share their experiences, memories, and photographs.

Finally, let me say that it has been of special pleasure to me that ownership of the estate has been assumed by a preservation trust. We no longer have to fear the estate will be lost or developed. It will remain open for the public to enjoy. And of course, it remains for me and my family to bring our children and their children to visit and introduce them to a special moment in our family's story.

Contact Us

If you have materials to contribute or suggestions, please contact me, Ron Tobey, at ronald.tobey@mail.lucknow.com. Written materials do not have to be in HTML format; I'll take care of preparing them for Web publication.

I am concerned that the site's pages be as accurate as possible. I welcome corrections.

Some pages concerning the Tobey family that were previously at the lucknow.com have been relocated to www.tobeyfamily.org.


Lucknow.com and Ron Tobey are not associated with the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, the Castle Preservation Society, or the website, Castle in the Clouds.

March 4, 2007.