Charles Crane came to Woods Hole in 1900 to visit his younger sister, Frances. Their brother, Richard, built the Crane Castle in Ipswich. Frances was married to University of Chicago zoology professor Frank Rattray Lillie, the assistant director of the MBL. Crane roomed at the Breakwater Hotel on Bar Neck Road. In 1910, he wanted a place of his own,so he bought the Butler estate.