This is an online Gallery only with

no physical loacation other

than on the internet.

Antique Postcards of Historic Newport, Rhode Island

Released the Summer of 2006: a new book

{click on the title below to order this book}

"Newport Mansions / Postcards of the Gilded Age"

published by Schiffer Publishing written by Federico Santi & John Gacher.

{Click on the above link for further information}




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

The Mansions of Newport Rhode Island

APC 34. Beachmond, Residence of Benjamin Thaw. "Situated on Bellevue Avenue, near Bailey's Beach. One of Newport's beautiful residences." Still standing today.

APC 35. Bleak House. Residence of M.J. Perry. On the back of the card is written: " Dear Marian, I got my call to report at Newport R.I. and I arrived here this P.M. was over to the war college but have got to report tomorrow morning don't know where I will be stationed yet think it is N.L. I send a book of N.L. this morn hope you get it had to leave the job they felt bad to see me go she said I was the best man they ever had. Love Fill." I believe this to be Marsden Jasael Perry. Born November 2, 1850 in Rehoboth, Ma. Was President of the American Ring Traveller co and became director of Bank of America. Collected and owned at the time the largest Shakespearian library in the United States.

APC 36. Ex-Governor Charles Warren Lippet's Residence "Norman Castle" Ledge Road. On some cards this home is also called " The Breakwater". Demolished. Lippet was born in Providence, RI October 8, 1846. He graduated from Brown University in 1865. A Republican, he served as Governor of Rhode Island from May of 1895 to May of 1897. His father (Henry) was also Governor of R.I.

APC 37. Ochre Court. Residence of Mrs. Ogden Golet. Owned by Salve Regina University and serves as an administration building with receptions rooms. "A striking example of cottage clearance occurred in 1946 when Robert Goelet offered his hundred room "Ochre Court" to his daughter at Vassar; the latter turned it down with the statement that even the thought of living there "oppressed" her. Finally in 1947 Goelet gave up and delivered the cottage to the Roman Catholic Church for a girl's college." {from "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.}

APC 38. Mid-Cliff. C. Ogden M. Jones Residence Ochre Point.

APC 39. Beechwood. Residence of John Jacob Astor. Privately owned but open to the public as a house museum. "Many women will rise up to fill my place," said Mrs. Astor, "but I hope my influence will be felt in one thing, and that is, in discountenancing the undignified methods employed by certain women to attract a following." 'There was no doubt, at least as far as Newport was concerned, whom Mrs. Astor meant. She meant the three successors to her throne, Newport's Great Triumvirate, Mrs. Hermann Oelrichs, Mrs. O.P.H. Belmont and Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish. These three had actively challenged the "Mystic Rose" long before her death in 1908; by the turn of the century they had all but seized the scepter. In her last years Mrs. Astor's mind failed. Her final summers at "Beechwood" were spent in solitary splendor. "Still erect," says Lloyd Morris, "still bravely gowned and jeweled, she stood quite alone, greeting imaginary guests long dead, exchanging pleasantries with ghosts of the utmost social distinction." * From "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.

APC 40. Residence of Senator Wetmore: Chateau Sur Mer. Owned by The Preservation Society and open to the public today. Built in 1852 Chateau-sur-Mer is one of Newport's grand 'cottages'. In 1857 a "Fete Champetre" was held for over 2000 guests. Built for China trade merchant William Peabody Wetmore who died in 1862. His son George Peabody Wetmore inherited the bulk of his fortune. The home was remodeled in the 1870's under the direction of Architect Richard Morris Hunt in the Second-Empire Style. Wetmore was Governor of Rhode Island and U.S. Senator and passed away in 1921. He had two daughters, Maude and Edith who never married. The Preservation Society purchased Chateau-Sur-Mer in 1969. "There's no use talking about it," says Miss Edith Wetmore of Newport's "Chateau Sur Mer," "we're the end of an era, if you please." Miss Wetmore, whose grandfather, George Peabody Wetmore, built Newport's first large mansion just a hundred years ago, has in her will left "Chateau Sur Mer" to the Society of New England Antiquities; she feels that, socially speaking, Newport is within eight of being a complete ghost town. "I mean to say," she says, "if you know what I mean, there are just eight families left. Fortunately I like very few people." * From "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.

APC 41. The Elms Residence of E.J. Berwind Bellevue Avenue. Owned by The Preservation Society and open to the public today. The summer residence of Coal Magnate Edward Julius Berwind. Begun in 1898 and designed by Horace Trumbauer copying Chateau d'Asnieres outside of Paris. Completed in 1901 at a cost of $1.400,000.00. The gardens were created between 1907 and 1914. Mrs. Berwind died in 1922 and Mr. Berwind died in 1936. His sister Julie lived in the house until 1961. The home and its extraordinary contents were sold at public auction after Julia's death. The Preservation Society purchased the home in 1962 and opened it to the public. "In World War II Newport cachet was perhaps most effectively demonstrated by Miss Julia Berwind of "The Elms." One day early in the war Miss Berwind placed a large grocery order. The grocer, surprised that she could have so many points, asked her to produce her ration books. Miss Berwind was even more surprised. "Oh," she said, "I thought those were just for ordinary people." When her gasoline was also rationed, Miss Berwind, in her eighties, took an "adult tricycle"--the first machine of its kind ever seen in Newport. Each morning her chauffeur brought the vehicle around to the front door of "The Elms" with the same cachet he had produced one of her Cadillacs in happier times." From "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.

APC 42. Gateway of "The Breakers" Owned by The Preservation Society and open to the public today. Today, The Breakers is the Preservation Societies most visited home and Newport's most opulent 'Cottage'. Built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Started in 1893 and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. 70 rooms in the Italian Renaissance style. The preservation Society purchased the home from family heirs in 1972. "The Breakers, or the Countess Szechenyi Estate, is a pretentious palace of caen stone with red tiled roof. The original house, owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt, was burned in 1893. Soon afterward $3,000,000.00 was spent to make the present mansion the most striking and magnificently appointed of Newport 'Cottages.' The three-and-a-half story stone structure, of which R.M.Hunt was the architect, has on one side semicircular porch resembling the apse of a cathedral. The center of the house has a two-story loggia facing the garden. The interior is embellished with mosaic work and carved stone. Some of the interior walls are finished in light-green Cipollion marble. A mosaic in one of the tympani of the arches are decorated in Italian Renaissance designs. The estate was bequeathed by Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt to her niece, the Countess Szechenyi, wife of the Austro-Hungarian charge d'affaires to the United States in 1906." From "Rhode Island: A Guide to the Smallest State" 1937.

APC 43. Rosecliff Residence of Herman Oelrich Bellevue Avenue. Owned by The Preservation Society and open to the public today. Built by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899; Sanford White was the architect; copying The Grand Trianon at Versailles. Built at a cost of $2,500,000.00. The home was given to The Preservation Society in 1971 by the last private owners, Mr. and Mrs. J. Edgar Monroe. The home has been used in the films High Society, The Great Gatsby, True Lies and Amistad. "The least known was Mrs. Oelrichs of "Rosecliff." Daughter of the gaudy Irish Comstock Loder . . . Theresa, or Tessie as she was called, had been a handsome raven-haired belle in her younger days and she refused to allow any of her later misfortunes to interfere with her career as a dowager dynamo. Troubled by increased deafness, she simply substituted, for her conversation of other people, a steady stream of her own small talk. Coupled with Mrs. Oelrichs' deafness went a remarkable tendency to put on weight. When all her masseurs and masseuses failed, she substituted such a sever corset that it required the services of a strong male servant to fit. She ran "Rosecliff" like a first sergeant. . . she had no personal maid and up at eight each morning-after doing her own hair-she made a personal tour of inspection of every room in her cottage. Then in her electric runabout she would tour her garage and stables. Every bed in "Rosecliff" was made up fresh every day and when she spent a night in a hotel she took her own bedding. At "Rosecliff" if a marble floor was not scrubbed to her satisfaction she would take soap and mop and scrub it herself. 'When I die,' she used to say, 'bury me with a cake of Sapolio in one hand and a scrubbing-brush in the other. These are my symbols.'" From "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.

APC 44. Mr. Henry Clews "The Rocks"

APC 45. Castlewood, Residence of John H. Hanan.

APC 46. "Wakehurst" J.J. Van Alen.

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.

APC 48. "Sherwood Lodge" Pembroke Jones Residence. Bellevue Avenue. A ballroom was added to the right side of this home plus 'wings' were added in the back side (which is shown) and the home was divided into many condos. Still standing today.

APC 49. Marble Palace (Marble House) Mrs. Belmont's Residence Bellevue Avenue. Owned by The Preservation Society today and open to the public. Built at a cost of $11,000,000.00 by Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt between 1888 and 1892. Alva divorced William K. in 1895 and married Oliver H.P. Belmont and moved to his home ' across the street.' After his death, she re-opened Marble House added a Chinese Tea House and supported Womens Rights with fund raisers at the Tea House. She sold Marble House to Frederick Prince in 1932; the Preservation Society purchased the house in 1963.

APC 50. Mira Mir - Widener Residence. This immense residence, designed on the lines of a French palace, was once the scene of the annual Tennis Ball, at which the world's tennis great, then competing in tournaments at Newport Casino were entertained. Its construction was started by George D. Widener and was complete in 1915, three years after he and one of his sons were drowned in the sinking of the liner Titanic. The residence and the extensive formal Italian gardens were maintained by Mrs. Widener, who later became the wife of Dr. Alexander Hamilton Rice. Mrs. Rice died in 1937. Still standing today; a private home.

APC 51. Shamrock Cliff home of G. M. Hutton. Presently condos and a resort with restaurant.

APC 52. The Newport Golf Club House or Country Club. Still standing and restored recently and used as the headquarters for the Newport Country Club.

APC 53. Harbor View; home of Mrs. F.O. French.

APC 54. "Armsea" Residence of Mr. Charles F. Hoffman of New York.

APC 55. "Indian Spring" The Busk Residence. Built in 1891. Built of rough stone. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt (he died in 1895).

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{ Newport Statistics then and now}

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, 2006

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