Saint-Gaudens purchased the property in 1885 at the urging of Charles Cotesworth Beaman, Jr., a friend and New York City lawyer, who had purchased the nearby Blow-Me-Down Farm (now also part of the historic site) and established it as a summer residence. He called “Aspet” after the town of his father’s birth in France. Saint-Gaudens established a studio, and produced work here every summer, and lived here year-round from 1900 until his death in 1907. Beaman’s summer estate was a center of activity of the Cornish Art Colony. After the death of Saint-Gaudens’ wife Augusta in 1926, Aspet was transferred to the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, a non-profit organization, established by Augusta Saint-Gaudens in 1919. The Memorial ran the property as a museum from 1927 until it was transferred to the National Park Service (NPS) in 1965. The Trustees of the Memorial continue to support the preservation and development of the park and to provide public programming.
The estate was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.The National Historic Site was authorized by Congress on August 31, 1964, and established on May 30, 1977. Besides a portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, this is the only NPS site in New Hampshire. The NPS later acquired two adjacent properties associated with Saint-Gaudens and the Cornish Art Colony, which were formally incorporated in the National Historic Site in 2000.