David Hunter McAlpin purchased the property known as Hoyt’s Corner from Henry S. Hoyt in 1885 for the sum of $25,000 to use as a “country house.” He renamed the Hoyt property “Glen Alpin”, reflecting his Scottish heritage, and renamed the old Kemble house “Glyntwood.” McAlpin made extensive use of Glen Alpin while he owned it. By the time McAlpin acquired Hoyt’s Corner, the property had grown to just under 336 acres. Hoyt sold McAlpin nine tracts of land. The first tract was the largest at 242 acres. Tracts two through nine were acquired from various land owners including Hugh Baxter, Richard Kemble, Silas Prudden, Henry Bayley, Alexander Adams, and Aram Johnson. These names appear on an 1853 map of eastern Morris County.
McAlpin Changes and Additions
Upon purchasing the property, McAlpin set out to make significant changes to the exterior of the house. He added two new porches, a tile roof, a laundry building, a pantry off the kitchen, and the glass conservatory. According to a contemporary newspaper article, “the outside has new porches and a conservatory and a tile roof which greatly improves its appearance.” The front portico matched the west porch in style, indicating that the portico was probably added by David McAlpin. McAlpin changed the accent paint around the cornice, windows, sashes, soffits, and the gingerbread trim. The trim was painted a reddish brown that was close to the color of the roof tiles. The underside of the soffits was painted sky blue. The window frames remained the dark reddish brown color, but the sashes were painted the lighter tile color.
It was reported in 1886 that:
“the old Hoyt mansion has been modernized both inside and outside;
the inside has been fitted up very handsomely.”
In the interior, the room trim as well as the fireplace mantel and trim were updated in the Colonial Revival style. The Colonial Revival Style came out of the US Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and reflected American patriotism and a desire for simplicity. Much of the paneling on the first floor and staircase was also added at this time. It was reported in 1886 that “the old Hoyt mansion has been modernized both inside and outside; the inside has been fitted up very handsomely.”
The covered pantry off of the kitchen and the first floor laundry were added and both were built using the same type of brick. The original laundry was built as a freestanding building. The roof framing on the laundry building uses cut nails which makes it likely that it was constructed during the 1886 renovations. The first layer of paint on the exterior of the windows of the laundry building was the same two shades that were used on the windows in the main block. Most of the bathrooms off the bedrooms were added at this time. Moldings were applied to doors and window shutters.
Charles McAlpin inherited the Glen Alpin house from his father in 1901. Shortly afterward, he began renovations on the house and commissioned Daniel W. Langton to design the gardens around it.
McAlpin added the one-story study/library next to the living room and behind the kitchen. One of the stained-glass windows bears the date 1904.
The external paint was changed back to a single reddish brown color for all of the trim and windows.
In 1933, Charles McAlpin donated 124 acres of the original Glen Alpin property (including the 1779-80 encampment site of the Connecticut Brigades) to the United States government to help create a national park. The land was located in the Jockey Hollow section of the park. The Morristown National Historical Park became the third historic park added to the National Park Service and was the first to be given the title National Historical Park.
On a map in the Mueller’s Atlas of 1910, “Glen Alpine” is shown as Charles W. McAlpin’s property and Hurstmont as Adelaide McAlpin Pyle’s property. The vast majority of the tract, including “Glen Alpine Farm” and “Glyntwood” (the McAlpins’ name for the original Mt. Kemble house) is shown as being owned by the brother and sister together. In 1940, Doris Mercer, also known as Princess Farid-es-Sultaneh, purchased Glen Alpin and almost 81 acres of land from Charles McAlpin for $36,000.