The Rutan-Becket House was built ca. 1850 on the bluff above the water by ship carpenter and New York State Assemblyman William Henry Rutan. William and his brother, James, had already established a shipyard and provisions store on the waterfront below around 1849. Tottenville’s growth as a maritime shipping center created the need for shipbuilding and repair facilities; the Rutan Shipyard was one of the first.
In the early 1950s the house was purchased by Walter and Kathrine Becket. The couple completely reconstructed the exterior including its four-column portico and modernized the interior in 1950s décor, the style in which it remains today.