THE NEWPORT POSTCARD GALLERY

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.


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