The Working Estate of Fred C. Tobey

Susan Colby Tobey and Fred Charles Tobey at Lucknow, 1944.

Thomas Plant died impecuniously in 1941. His widow, Olive, returned to her family. His friend, Fred C. Tobey, bought the estate. Fred Tobey was a land developer with an extensive lumber business in New Hampshire, his native state. Purchase completed Fred Tobey’s long association with Lucknow. He and Tom shared a love of horses and horse racing. Living on a diminished fortune, Tom Plant tried unsuccessfully to sell the estate in the 1930s. Fred Tobey offered to purchase, but the offer was too low. Plant was reluctant to leave his beautiful home on the mountain top. Fred Tobey also offered to buy logging rights to the Lucknow forest, but his friend would not entertain cutting in the stately growth.

After Tom Plant died, the estate was closed. The banks that held the mortgage on the property approached Fred Tobey several times to buy the estate, which he finally did. He purchased Lucknow through Tobey Investment Company. He paid for it by logging the forest through Tobey Lumber Company, transferring payments from the Lumber Company to the Investment Company.

His wife, Susan, lived at the estate May through November (they closed the house in the winter). She transformed the main house from a retirement home to a family home for their large family of seven adult children and hordes of grandchildren. Fred Tobey sold Lucknow in 1956. Susan was dying of cancer. She wished to spend her remaining years in Plymouth, New Hampshire, near her oldest friends.

February 2007.