Social History


Servants in Newport

In 1999, The Preservation Society of Newport County initiated an oral history project, "Keeping House." It began as a community effort appealing to locals who knew of individuals that worked at the Newport Mansions. Information and leads came forth from people who were domestics at the mansions and relatives of former domestics. Documenting their stories opened a fascinating personal perspective on behind the scenes life in Newport's great houses of the Gilded Age and encapsulated a unique social and cultural group in Newport. We thank everyone who shared their stories and photographs for this important research project. 

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Portrait of a Newport Lady:
The Fashionable Woman in 1900

What's a traditional Victorian mother to do when her precocious little girl grows into a young woman with modern ideas? Find out in this engaging exploration of the relationship between Gwendolen King Armstrong and her mother in an exhibition of fashions, accessories and letters. 

Learn more about Gwendolen King Armstrong