The Rocks Estate is Ready to Greet Visitors Again

Popular Christmas tree farm is still recovering from the fire that destroyed Tool Building in February

BETHLEHEM — While still recovering from a fire earlier this year that destroyed its historic Tool Building, The Rocks Estate is nonetheless ready to greet visitors for another holiday season, with cut-your-own Christmas trees resuming on Nov. 23.


The Rocks is on US Route 302, just off Interstate 93, on 1,400 acres of what was originally the summer home of Chicago businessman John Jacob Glessner, a co-founder of International Harvester.


In 1978, the Glessner family donated the entire Rocks estate to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests with the provision that “there always be a crop in the field.”

For more than 35 years, under the direction of the facility’s manager, Nigel Manley, that crop has been evergreen trees, about 40,000 of them, which after being carefully selected and cut by visitors, were baled for transportation behind the Tool Building.

This season, however, that process is slightly altered in that the Tool Building is no longer there.


On Feb. 13, at around 6 p.m. a fire, that authorities deemed accidental, began in  lower-level workshop and ultimately destroyed the L-shaped, three-story, 116-year old Tool Building, which had been used for office space, programming, and farm operations. 

Click Here For the full Union Leader article by John Koziol