Nudism Comes to Connecticut


The Becket Hill property was bought in 1927 by Frank Mallett for the MATTAKEUNK CABIN COLONY, a corporation which had been created “for the purpose of providing its stockholders ample facilities for a wholesome outdoor life,” and which owned properties in Maine, Connecticut and New York.

Above : Frank’s daughters, Essie and Linda, c.1932, from the Merrills’ second book on nudism, Nudism Comes to America.

In1931 Frank met with Frances and Mason Merrill, a young couple who had recently discovered the joys of sun and air bathing, and the Becket Hill Nudist Colony was born. The Merrills had already published a book, Among the Nudists, about their introduction to nudism in Germany. In their next book, Nudism Comes to America, they included the local anecdote of the fisherman with binoculars which we have used in Chapter One.

Frank and his second wife, Hilya, had three daughters and six granddaughters. The five surviving granddaughters and their children have inherited about 120 acres on the Hill, some of which they own individually and some jointly. A few years ago the granddaughters put the remaining jointly-owned property, which now includes six rental houses, into a family trust. The rents pay for taxes, insurance, and repairs, allowing the family to retain ownership.