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History of Newport and the Mansions
Founded in 1639, Newport was an important port city, a center of the slave trade, a fashionable resort and the summer home of the Gilded Age rich.
What was the Gilded Age?
The Gilded Age was a period of unprecedented change in America. Fortunes were spent on luxuries such as the lavish "summer cottages" of Newport.
Deep Dive into the Show
Learn about the people, places and events depicted in Julian Fellowes' popular historical drama series.
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We invite you to become a member of the Preservation Society today. In addition to joining an active community of preservation supporters and advocates, members are offered unlimited access to all open houses.
Our mission is to protect, preserve, and present the best of Newport County's architectural heritage. Learn more about us and our work.
Wind Farm Federal Appeal: FAQs
The Preservation Society of Newport County is appealing federal agency approval of two massive wind farms off the Rhode Island coast.
Personal Photography on the Grounds
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Museum Rentals & Weddings
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☞ The rooms interpreted as George Peabody Wetmore’s (1846-1921) childhood bedroom suite at Chateau-sur-Mer are featured as Oscar Van Rhijn’s New York apartment. Wetmore was the son of William Shepard Wetmore, who built Chateau-sur-Mer, and he became a Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator.
☞ Mr. Russell’s office at the Fifth Avenue house appears to be inspired by George Wetmore’s library at Chateau-sur-Mer.
☞ The suppression of Black Americans was common among most markets and businesses in the North, as Peggy Scott encounters, as success was still dependent on the consumers of the South — very typical in the manufacturing and media markets.
☞ The Red Cross fundraising activity has a precedent with Alice Vanderbilt at The Breakers. New York Times, August 28, 1914: “Red Cross Bazaar At Newport Today; Committee Expects to Realize $35,000 at Benefit Affair at the Breakers.” The Breakers, one of the outstanding landmarks of the Gilded Age, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt for Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-1899), head of the New York Central Railway system, his wife, Alice, and their children.
☞ Dogs as pets: The Westminster Show began in 1877 at Gilmore’s Gardens, the future site of Madison Square Garden. While the domestication and ownership of dogs was nothing new, the idea of dogs as tranquil, pleasing additions to the household was relatively modern, rather than the utility of a dog as a hunter, retriever, or flock and cattle herder.
☞ The room where Mr. Morris seals his fate, presumably featured as his bedroom, is the real-life, grown-up bedroom of George Wetmore at Chateau-sur-Mer.
In 1882, Marian arrives at the home of her “old money” aunts Agnes and Ada, whose new neighbors vie to break into New York high society.
Marian receives a visit from Tom Raikes, whose legal advice Peggy seeks. The Russells take center stage at a charity bazaar.
Marian learns more about Mrs. Chamberlain. George makes a deal to benefit Bertha. Peggy meets a trailblazing newspaperman.
Bertha, Marian, Aurora, and Peggy make an overnight trip to see Clara Barton speak. Gladys’ desired beau is invited to dinner.
Mr. McAllister’s visit to the Russells shakes the aunts’ household. George aims to control the narrative. Marian considers her feelings.
As a historic moment captures the city, Agnes vows to protect her family’s reputation, while Larry’s career plans rub George the wrong way.
Peggy reveals the truth about her past, while George’s day in court arrives, and Marian considers her romantic future.
Marian’s grand plan is threatened. Bertha and Mrs. Astor lock horns over Gladys’ debut. Peggy is stunned by a major reveal.
Agnes shares news of her nephew Dashiell's imminent arrival in New York. Bertha decides to back the new Metropolitan Opera House.
Kingscote makes its debut as the home of widow Blane, with whom Larry starts an affair. Peggy is welcomed back to the van Rhijn house by almost everyone. Oscar's hopes are dashed, while Marian fends off a suitor.
A surprising guest attends Bertha's fundraiser and starts trouble. Larry begins renovations at Mrs. Blane’s house, aka Kingscote. Peggy presses her editor to let her go to Tuskegee. Oscar Wilde charms society, but his play does not.
Bertha angles for position with the visiting Duke of Buckingham. With Marian’s help, Ada continues to see Mr. Forte. Peggy travels to Alabama and meets Booker T. Washington. Mr. Russell is confronted by angry critics of his labor practices.
The Marble House Dining Room is the setting for Bertha Russell’s dinner for the Duke of Buckingham. Peggy narrowly escapes danger in Alabama. Ada’s engagement causes conflict between her and Agnes.
Bertha’s opera house project is far from harmonious. George goes to Pittsburgh to deal with a potential strike by his steel mill workers. Peggy takes up the cause of schooling for Black children in New York City.
Parking is free onsite at all properties except for Hunter House and The Breakers Stable & Carriage House, where street parking is available.
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Explore the 11 properties under the stewardship of the Preservation Society and open as historic house museums.
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