An ONLINE Collection of Antique Postcards of Historic Newport, Rhode Island

This is an online gallery only with

no physical loacation other

than on the internet.




Newport "The Queen of Resorts" a tourist guide from 1897

In this gallery, we will show original postcards depicting turn of the century Newport, Rhode Island. The examples shown are from our personal collection of over 800 Newport cards. There exist over 5,000 different Newport cards. We will exhibit cards by area : downtown, waterfront, beach, etc. and by type of building: mansion, church, public buildings,etc.. Displayed will be about 10 cards in each classification with a short paragraph about each card. To view an enlargement of the card, just click on the pictures from this page.

Your host: Federico Santi


Introducing an upcoming book about "Newport Mansions / Postcards of the Gilded Age"

Downtown Newport, Rhode Island

1.Our first card is titled 'Washington Mall' The printed information on the reverse of the card states: 'A small triangular park around which centered the many interesting events in Newport's history. In this square are situated the Old State house, Army and Navy Y.M.C.A., Opera House, Perry house and Statue of Oliver Hazard Perry 'Hero of Lake Erie'. Card manufactured by Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass. Dated from around 1905.

2.Our next card is the same view only a moment before or after the previous card. The photographer is also positioned more to the left. One would have to assume that it was the same photographer selling pictures to different post card companies. It is interesting that even from this point of view that the Colony House would not be in full view. The trees from the Square hide the right side of Colony House.On the back right side of the card is a dark Greek Revival facade: then a church and today the Jane Pickens Theater. The building in front of the large telegraph pole on the left is today the site of the Bank of Newport. I wonder who is the old gentleman with the long white beard (on the right). Title: ' Washington Square, Newport, R.I.' c. 1905. Printed by The Valentine & Sons' Publishing co., Ltd, New York / Printed in Great Britain. Let us take a look a some of the buildings surrounding the square in the next card.

3.Colony House is by far the most important building on Washington Square and may be the most important building standing in Newport today. The title of this card is: 'Old Court House, Newport,RI'. No. 14663: The Metropolitian News Co. Boston, Mass and Germany / Made in Germany. c. 1905. I quote from 'Newport Illustrated' published in 1854: 'It is of brick, with window caps and other projections of freestone. Over the front there is a fine clock, recently put up in place of one that had served to mark the hours for seventy years. The roof is surmounted by a cupola, in which there is a bell. The building stands in an open square, and we may enter from the north, south or west, by a lofty flight of steps. the west is the principal entrance. From these steps the late Major John Handy read the Declaration of Independence on the 20th of July, 1776, and at the expiration of fifty years he read it again from the same place, on which occasion the steps and the balcony above were decorated with wreaths and flowers. The last time that Washington visited Newport, a dinner was given in honor of the occasion. The table was spread the entire length of the lower floor of the State House.' Continuing on: ' In the senate chamber there is a fine full length portrait of Washington, by Stuart, which was presented to the town by that great painter. The portrait is one of Stuart's finest works, and is highly valued by the inhabitants. To preserve it from injury, it is protected by a glass case.' The present Colony House replaced an earlier wooden building of 1687. Finished in 1739. Built of brick, the council voted it be: 'consisting of eighty feet in length and forty in breadth and thirty feet stud, the length thereof to stand near or quite north and south.' It is a marvelous building. . . now not open to the public . . . but plans are in the making that it will be open by the Spring of 1998.

4.If you walk from The Colony House into the park and look to your left, you will see Clarke Street. Today the view of Trinity Church is obstructed by the old Vanderbilt Y.M.C.A.(The Mary Street Y) which has just been turned into a luxury hotel called Vanderbilt Hall. The Newport Artillery Company is on Clarke Street as is The Vernon House. This card is titled: ' Clarke Street with Trinity Church, Newport, R.I.' and is No. 930. Printed by National Art Views Co. N.Y.City.It dates from between 1905 and 1910.

5.If you continue to the foot of the park and turn around, this view from about 1907 is just about what you will see today. In the center is a larger than life size statue of . . . as it is titled on the card: ' Newport, R.I. O.H. Perry's Monument, Washington Square,R.I.' This card which is dated: May 9, 07 is to Leila Temple Ellenwood of Bangor, Maine and the message is: 'Dear Cousin Leila . . . you want to come down to Rosies and get your kitten while he is grooming. . . I have got mine . . . she is the dearest little thing. Hattie Dyer. So . . . getting back to Commodore Perry: He was the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie. One further note: if you look at the far right front side of the card next to the fence you will see a stick of an ornamental tree that had just been planted, today the trees (one on each side) are quite large and are in excellent condition.

6.If you turn to the right ( back in 1905) this is what you would have seen: The Opera House. Postmarked Oct. 4, 1905. Sent to Miss Florence Thackeray from Mollie. Today this is the site of a movie theater that appears to be very modern and I am told that under all the false decorations lies part of the grand old interior of The Opera House.

7.Pictured here is the Perry House located in Washington Square. This card is postmarked August 18, 1909 and the note reads: ' U.S.S. Octopus Newport, R.I. Aug. 13, 09. Dear Brother: How is biz. old Sport ? Am about to write you a letter but a card will do tonight. Saw Sam when in N.Y. Best to all Dallas.'

8.This card titled: 'Perry House, Newport, R.I.' is postmarked Sept 13, 1909 (Jamestown). To a Miss Augusta Swensen of La Crosse, Wis from Isabella who writes: 'Carl told me to send you this postal. He is well. Answer soon.' Printed by The Robbins Bros. Co. Boston, Mass and Germany. I include this card to detail the wonder gas light in the center of the card. The person who is walking up the street would be today walking in front of the Opera House Movie Theater: wouldn't it be wonderful if that theater looked like the image in this card.

9.Titled 'Washington Square, Newport, R.J.{sic} This view shows the lower end of 'The Parade' with the Brick market building at the right end (with the flag). The card is postmarked Denver,PA; Nov. 22, 1906. The trolly on the right is coming from Long Wharf (see next card). Newport (as did most cities at this point in time) had excellent mass transit systems. One could get on a trolly here and ride for several hundred miles, going from one trolly to the next. The corner of the Perry House ( the red and white stripped awnings) is just showing in the left of the card. In the center of the card is a water fountain with a gas standard used to illuminate the fountain at night.

10.Titled 'Long Wharf, Newport, R.I. This card is dated June 8, 1909. Printed by The Metropolitian News Co. No. 1870, Boston, Mass. and Germany. The Fall River Line of steam ships used to dock at the end of Long Wharf. The line traveled from New York to Newport several times a week.

11.Titled: 'Old Liberty Tree, Newport, R.I.' Not postmarked but probably from around 1905-10. The 'Liberty Tree' is a replacement for a much older tree that died. This is at the enter-section of Thames and Farewell. This view has not changed much today: now there are too many power lines and telephone lines and of course automobiles line the right side of the street. Most of the homes on this street have survived since the publishing of this card. About three short blocks up is the Parade and Washington Square. The home of William Ellery, signer of The Declaration of Independence was located close by until around 1920 when it was demolished.

12.Back up past 'The Parade', this card is titled: 'Thames Street looking North, Newport, R.I.' Postmarked around 1908. Mrs. Hall writes: ' Dear Aunt Katie: Don't you think this is a quaint little street? This is in one of the old parts of Newport and where we do considerable shopping when we come up from the Jamestown Ferry . . . ' Newport's downtown was at the turn of the century very active with this area of Thames, the center. A two way street then, it is now one way. The buildings on the left were demolished in the 1970's (Urban Renewal) and replaced with modern looking stylized salt box like multi attached units. Notice the wonderful mix of Colonial (at one time private homes) and commercial buildings on this street.

13.Titled: ' Thames St., Newport, Looking North( from Cannon Street).' c.1905. Printed by The Metropolitian News Co., Boston, Mass. and Germany' No. 7427. Thames is two way then. I wouldn't be surprised if the printed added the American flags on the tops of buildings: there just seems to be too many of them. The photographer today would be standing at the intersection of Americas Cup, Memorial and Thames. The white building on the right was the Customs House built in 1829 and demolished in 1916, the site of the Post Office today.

14.Titled: ' Tamas (sic) Street, North from Colonial Theatre, Newport, R.I.' After 1908: Thames Street was not cobbled until 1908 and this view shows a cobbled street. The Colonial Theatre was located at the site of ( until recently) our Thames Street 5¢ and 10¢ store and is presently a clothing store called "Express". The Colonial was a Vaudeville Theatre at first and later showed movies.

15.Titled: 'Newport, R.I., Thames Street North from Mill St.' The note on the side says: 'This is where I bought the candy, remember? Marian' C. 1907. Printed by H.C. Leighton Co. Portland, Me. Manufactures of Postal Cards. Made in Germany No. 1614.

16.Titled: 'Thame (sic) Street, Newport, R.I.' c. 1910. Published by the Valentine & Sons' Publishing Co., Ltd. New York and Boston. Printed in Great Britain. In this view an interesting aspect of postcard is pointed out: never believe in the color of the card. On the left is the Newport Trust Co. building which did have green marble columns flanking the door yet, in this card the bank facade appears to be all the same color. Look at the next card.

17.Titled: 'Thames St. and Newport Trust Co.( green columns), Newport, R.I.' Postmarked Oct. 26. Published by the Rotograph Co., N.Y., City. (Germany). # G6913. Copyright 1905 by the Rotograph Co.

18.Titled: 'Aquidneck National Bank and Thames Street South, Newport, R.I.' Published by Berger Bros., Publishers, Providence, R.I. The view is at Thames with the side street on the left being Green Street. The building on the left titled the Kinsey Building was built in 1892 and housed the National Bank of Rhode Island until recently and is now the Blues Cafe. Traffic on Thames (the locals call it Thãmes not Timmes) is still two way in this card. Time: 1905-10.

19.This card is postmarked Oct. 19, 1911. From Thomas Bradbury of 73 Van Zant Ave, (Newport) to an A.P. Brooks on River Road, New Bedford (Mass). The title is: 'Naval Apprentices on Parade at Newport, R.I.' The red colonial house in the center of the photo is the Wanton-Lyman Hazard House (now owned by the Newport Historical Society and open to the public for tours) and is on the corner of Broadway ( this being Broadway) and Stone Street. This house is one of the few late 17th century homes in Newport still standing today. The Sailors would be marching into Washington Square and would pass the Colony House on their left. The building behind the tree in the upper left of the photo with the red first floor and the white upper floors was the Weaver Mercantile Emporium. It is still standing (as are most of the buildings in this shot) and is the home of New Visions a low income resource center for Newport County. If you were to continue past the Weaver building on the right in the next block is the Newport City Hall Newport City Hall, the formerTownsend Industrial Schooland the former Rogers High School.

20.Postmarked June 30, 1910. Titled: 'Naval Apprentices Parade, Newport, R.I.' Published by Dan. E. Sullivan. I think that Mr. Sullivan was a local resident. Addressed to: Mr. A. Shorney / Herons Ghyll / Ukcfield / Sussex / England. The troops are marching past Newport City Hall on Broadway: City Hall would be on the right and Bull Street is to the immediate right of the picture. The Paramount Block is on the left. The parade probably started on Thames Street, came into "The Parade" and continued up Broadway onto Equality Park. (Thanks to Mr. DelNero for this info) IT IS A SMALL WORLD WHEN IT COMES TO THE INTERNET: I received an Email from a relative of Mr. A Shorney (England) to whom this card was sent by his son, a Mr. Charles Shorney. Here is his Email message to me: "I am interested in postcard #20 shown on . . . , not the picture but the reverse. It is addressed to a Mr A Shorney. Austin Shorney was a distant relative of mine and his son Charles was one of the unlucky passengers on the Titanic. I am trying to discover more about the history of this family and would like to know if there is anything in the message on the reverse which would be of relevance. Lesley Morgan " Charles was in service to one of the wealthy Newport families and died " in service." When we find out the family Mr. Shorney works for, I will list the name. Mr. Morgan found this site thru a search engine that listed the name of "Shorney."

Next: onto "The Mansions"

John and Rico from The Drawing Room Antiques is pleased to support:


{ Newport Statistics then and now}

Postcard links:

Postcard Traders Association

While you are viewing this site you may wish to visit our selected Newport, Rhode Island Web sites of note


This is not a link, but a list of area dealers.

Newport Rhode Island Fire Alarm Directory with Signal Codes.

The categories listed below are selections from our web gallery of The Drawing Room of Newport featuring 'Furnishings from Newport's Gilded Age' and The Zsolnay Store offering Central European Ceramics: Amphora to Zsolnay



The Drawing Room is located at 152-154 Spring Street, Newport, Rhode Island 02840.We are open daily from 11 am to 5 pm and by appointment. If you have a question about an item listed in this document please call us at 1-401-841-5060 (401) 261-3980. All images copyright by F. Santi, 2004

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