Tilton, Charles E., Mansion

Also known as: The Terraces, Tilton School
27 School St., Tilton, New Hampshire


Street View 


Charles E. Tilton Mansion, The Terraces, 27 School Street, is a grand Second Empire style building, one of the most impressive residences in the state. Born and raised in Sanbornton Bridge, Tilton briefly worked in his brotherís New York hardware business, then went searching for business possibilities in the West Indies and prospecting in South America. When the California Gold Rush began, he managed to obtain passage from Panama to San Francisco. Arriving virtually penniless, Tilton was quick to realize that the real profits were not in prospecting, but in supplying the prospectors. He opened a branch of his brotherís business and prospered. His business ventures in California and Oregon, including merchandising, banking, real estate, shipping, and railroads, made him a millionaire. In 1856, he married a Sanbornton woman and soon began building this mansion on the hill overlooking the village. The main block was constructed in 1861-64. In 1879, after his wifeís death, Tilton retired from his West Coast businesses and settled permanently in his native village. He added east and west wings to the house in the late 1870s, and in the 1880s extended the two story porch around three sides of the building. The mansion remained in the Tilton family until 1952. It served as a guest house before being purchased by the Tilton School in 1962. The building now houses the school library, guest rooms, faculty apartments, and, in the former stable, the schoolís art center. Save for the stable interiors, the building is little changed since the days of Charles E. Tilton.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 10, 1982
Reference number
Areas of significance
Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1861