THE NEWPORT POSTCARD MUSEUM

APC 47. "Crossways" Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish's Residence. Divided into condos and still standing today. "Crossways, or Stuyvesant Fish House, is a large white Colonial-style mansion, designed and built by Stuyvesant Fish in 1898. This house was the center of gaiety at the turn of the century, its mistress being one of the most ingenious hostesses of the Four Hundred. The spacious dining room, which seats 200 guests, and the enormous ballroom were the scene of Mrs. Fish's Harvest Festival Ball, the annual entertainment ending the Newport social season. When Grand Duke Boris of Russia visited Newport, Mrs. Fish issued invitations for a dinner and ball in his honor; the night of the ball the Duke was detained by Mrs. Ogden Goelet, Mrs. Fish's rival as social leader, at whose home he was staying. About 200 guests had assembled in the hall at Crossways, and when the hour for dinner approached and there was no sign of the Duke, Mrs. Fish announced that the Duke was unable to come, but the Czar of Russia had agreed to be her guest. Suddenly the doors of the room were flung open and in walked His Imperial Majesty, dressed in his royal robes, wearing the Imperial Crown and carrying a scepter. The guests, including Senator Chauncey Depew, Pierpont Morgan, and Lord Charles Beresford, sank in a court curtsy, only to recover themselves with shrieks of laughter when they realized they were paying homage to Harry Lehr. The next day Grand Duke Boris accosted Lehr on the beach and conferred upon him the title of 'King''; the title clung to him for the rest of his life." From "Rhode Island: a Guide to the Smallest State" published in 1937.


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