Sunday, July 18, 2010



I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday, from Cape Cod, and she mentioned that she had recently visited the Mansions at Newport, RI and it brought back memories for me.
I lived on Cape Cod from 1975-1984. About every summer we would make a trip to Newport, RI (about an hour from where I lived) and do the Mansion tours and visit Newport.
Actually, in 1979, on 1 of the trips, we were shopping Antique shops and I purchased the "Puffy Heart Necklace" in my previous blog post:

I've posted some of the Mansions below, with a little info on each...enjoy!

The Breakers Mansion - Built 1893-1895. Cost over 7 million dollars ( to build today would cost over $150 million today). 13 acre estate. Summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. His great-grandchildren now live on the third floor of the mansion
during the summer. 70 rooms in the mansion - 33 are "hired help quarters". Some of the rooms were actually built in Europe and then shipped to the U.S. where they were reassembled in the mansion!

"The Elms"
The Elms was completed in 1901. Coal magnate, Edward Julius Berwind owned this summer home. His family owned it
until the 1960's.

"Marble House"
Marble House
Alva Vanderbilt was given this "Summer Cottage" as a gift by her husband William K. Vanderbilt on her 39th birthday. It was built in 1892 for $11 million. $7 million of this was just for the massive amounts of marble!

Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs owned this beauty. The original cost was $2.5 million and it is 21 acres. There are scenes from inside and outside this mansion in the films:
"The Great Gatsby" and "True Lies".

"Rough Point"

39,000 square foot mansion with 105 rooms. Built in 1887 for Frederick W. Vanderbilt, VI.
1906-sold to William B. Leeds. In 1922 it was sold to James B. Duke
of Duke University. Duke died in 1924 and his daughter, Doris Duke, at 12 years, old inherited "Rough Point" and $100 million, plus other homes. Doris Duke used this home up until her death in 1993 at the age of 80.


1881- Purchased by William Backhouse Astor, Jr. Astor renovated the property for $2 million
for his wife Caroline, (the "queen of the elite"), to throw her lavish summer parties. The Beechwood was the center of Newport Society for 25 years.

"Ochre Court"
$4.5 million- Ochre Court was built in 1892 as the summer residence for wealthy New York banker, Ogden Goelet. In 1947, Goelet's descendants gave Ochre Court to the Religious Sisters of Mercy.

"Isaac Bell House"
Isaac Bell House was the home of wealthy cotton broker and investor, Isaac Bell. The Bell House is one of America's finest examples of shingle-style architecture; with design elements mixing English, European, Colonial American and

Chepstow was built in 1860 by Newport architect George
Champlin Mason. The summer home of Edmund Schermerhorn and purchased by Mrs. Emily Morris Gallatin in 1911. It still contains original furnishings with important 19th century original paintings adorning its walls from the Morris family.

"Hunter House"

Hunter House- This colonial was built between 1748 and 1754 for Jonathon Nichols, Jr. (wealthy merchant). In 1756, the property was sold to Colonel Joseph
Wanton, Jr., who was a deputy governor of the Rhode Island colony and a merchant. After the American Revolution war, William Hunter, a U.S. Senator and ambassador, bought Hunter House and transformed it into a formal Georgian mansion.

A. Chepstow
B. Newport Mansions
C. Kingscote - Newport Mansion
D. Bellevue Avenue
E. Chateau-sur-Mer
F. Isaac Bell House
G. National Museum of American Illustration
H. Ghost Tours of Newport
I. King Park
J. Salve Regina University
K. Aardvark Antiques
L. International Tennis Hall of Fame
M. International Yacht Restoration School
N. Samuel Whitehorne House
O. The Breakers
P. Thames Street
Q. Rosecliff
R. The Old Stone Mill
S. Newport Art Museum
T. The Elms

My Etsy Shop:


  1. WoW! That is a lot of houses! I used to live in Asheville NC and the big home there is the Baltimore Estate. It is supposed to be the largest privately owned home in America. I never knew there so many others. It looks a lot like the Ochre Court house from your list. Great list!

  2. Wow! I would love to be one of the hired help so I could just saunter up to the mansion and be like "yeah, I live in this monster. No big deal".

    P.S. I would love it if you had a look at my website to post some of your gorgeous jewelry. It's free to post and sell (no listing fees or commissions) and check out our $5 giveaway promotion too!

  3. Great post! I have always lived in New England and keep meaning to spend a weekend visiting all these fantastic mansions. I'll get there someday. I did spend a weekend on the Cape this summer though!

  4. Such beautiful homes. Thanks for the history lesson...a lot of information, I would have otherwise not known. I did know that Vanderbilt built up the majority of Long Island as his "playground".

  5. I think I may need to plan a trip out east!

  6. This was very informative. Apart from making jewelry I study architecture. Thank you so much for this post. I love old mansions. I didn't know there we so many around me.

  7. Before moving to Virginia I used to live in CT. I'm bummed that I never got to do the mansion tours in RI, it was so close to us at the time. They look amazing.

  8. Love all your comments! I am glad I got to see these "Summer Cottages",(as they were referred to). It has been years since I have been there but I will never forget the opulence of these places...just amazing...the artwork, marble, fabrics and furnishings...and the size of these places...they are just enormous!

  9. wow,i wish i owned the house on the first picture :)

  10. This looks like a awesoem place to vacation to. This may be my Husband and I's next vacation. Wonderful blog!!!

  11. Beautiful! I've never been to that part of the world. The Elms mansion was my favorite ;)

  12. We did this about 2 years ago when we docked from a cruise. Chepstow is my favorite!

    Thanks for following me....

  13. Those are some of the biggest "houses" I've ever seen- if you even want to call them that. You could build little villages inside those things.

  14. Some referred to these as their "summer cottages"; I can not imagine what their actual year round homes were like!