Our Story

  • Topo Pino, which means “place of tall pines”, is steeped in history as the former summer location for the Boston Cooking School in the early 1900s.  The cooking school became world famous following the 1896 publication of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by its principal at the time, Fannie Merritt Farmer.  Janet McKenzie Hill, a prominent early practitioner of culinary reform, named the property Topo Pino and ran the Boston Cooking School’s summer sessions there.

    Modern day Topo Pino is managed by a mother-daughter team, Lucy D’Agostino Crowe and Caitlin Crowe, of York, Maine and Portland, Maine, respectively.  The family has owned Topo Pino for over 55 years.  Lucy’s father, Maurice "Doc" D'Agostino, a Princeton graduate and celebrated WWII veteran, purchased the property in 1967 after seeing a small ad in the back of Yankee Magazine.  This spark of interest led to a long drive from Cranbury, NJ, where he owned and ran The Cranbury Inn, established in 1780.  Doc passed away a short time before Caitlin was born, but Lucy and Caitlin forged ahead with his dream, and in the process, discovered their own.  Caitlin spent years researching the history of Topo Pino and brought the name back to life in 2017 by offering glamping at Topo Pino.

    Topo Pino was always a place of relaxation and adventure for Caitlin as a child.  She spent every summer there exploring the White Mountains with her black lab mix, Kimbo, named after Kimball Pond, which is just steps from Topo Pino.  Caitlin grew up in York, Maine and attended Dartmouth College.  She spent a decade in financial services in Boston after college, but the natural beauty of Maine and New Hampshire drew Caitlin to return north.  Caitlin now resides with her mini goldendoodle, Chloe, in Portland, Maine, less than 1.5 hours from Topo Pino.  When Caitlin is not playing with Chloe in her free time, she enjoys carefully hand making the Topo Pino Candle Collection candles available through the Topo Pino online boutique.  Caitlin hopes others feel a sense of calm, adventure and inspiration through her candles and by visiting Topo Pino.

    Lucy has spent almost every summer since 1967 at Topo Pino.  Growing up in Cranbury, NJ and learning from her father as he ran The Cranbury Inn, Lucy always aspired to share Topo Pino with others.  She has been a proud Maine resident since 1990 and now shares her time between Maine and New Hampshire.  Lucy has a lifelong knowledge of the land at Topo Pino and its surrounding area.  She has always found a sense of peace, balance and joy at Topo Pino and looks forward to welcoming you there.

  • Topo Pino, Lucy D'Agostino Crowe and Caitlin Crowe