As of May 2013, the Sutton House has been owned and operated by Thais (Ta * ees) St.Clair, her household and a dedicated team of part-time staff. The Lake Winnipesaukee Victorian mansion is a year-round family run business. The inn keeper's name comes from the opera "THAIS" which her father, who played the violin, was listening to when she was born.
The Sutton House was originally built in 1865 by Eben and Eliza Sutton who had a lucrative wool making business in Peabody, Mass together with Eben's brother, Charles Sutton. Both brother's served as colonels in the Civil War after which they were given land grants for their service. The Sutton Estate originally included nearly 400 acres between Center Harbor Bay and Coe Hill Road. Before the Sutton House was completed Eliza's husband passed away unexpectedly. Their two sons also died at ages 14 & 21 due to unknown causes.
Eliza then stayed in Center Harbor year round and started a dairy farm across the street along Center Harbor Bay. The old white barn next to the Canoe Restaurant was originally for Eliza Sutton's cows and there was a large dairy barn connected to a horse barn. It was called the Garnet Hill Farm after the nearby hill where a garnet was found. Center Harbor was Eliza's home until she passed away at the age of 88.
Guests visiting the Sutton House can see a historic mural in the main hallway depicting the town and its historic significance right after the Civil War. When you come to visit be sure to ask the inn keeper about other historical places in town just a short stroll from this treasured historic landmark.