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Stephen Mather and Bertha Mather at Yosemite, 1929

Bertha, the only child of Stephen Tyng Mather and Jane Thacker Floy, was born in Chicago, IL on August 10, 1906.

She graduated in 1928 from Vassar College and went on to the Cambridge School of Landscape and Domestic Architecture, a program operated by Smith College, earning a master's degree in 1933. Bertha became one of the first female architects in Connecticut and a charter member of the Darien Historical Society.  She designed the house across the street (Brookside Road) for a relative. The house is currently owned by a Mather descendant.


Pictures from House Beautiful contest submission
Bertha Mather McPherson's children Anne, Jane, and Stephen

Anne, Jane and Stephen McPherson, children of Bertha Mather McPherson

Bertha was long associated with the Student Conservation Association, a nonprofit educational organization that places student volunteers with national parks, forests and wildlife refuges.


Bertha inherited the Mather Homestead from her father when he passed in 1930. She married Edward Reynolds McPherson in 1932 and raised their children, Anne McPherson Tracy, Stephen Mather McPherson and Jane McPherson Nickerson in the Mather Homestead where she lived until her death in 1993.  Edward McPherson lived in the home until his death in 2002. Bertha lovingly cared for the Homestead from 1930 to 1993, keeping its historical character and adding many 18th century antiques and artifacts which still rest in the home. 

Crest of Bertha Floy Mather
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