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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.
Explore 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.
Episode Deep Dive
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.
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Many rooms that depict the second floor at the Russells’ mansion, shown in the first scene and later, are from the second floor of The Elms.
Gladys’s bedroom is the real-life Mrs. Berwind’s bedroom in The Elms.
The Elms kitchen is featured many times again.
Social arbiter Ward McAllister (1827-1895) makes his debut.
While Mr. McAllister arrives to a luncheon “fashionably late,” this concept was an established tradition stemming from English culture and reserved for people of society who wished to make an entrance at social gatherings.
Lunch with McAllister: Finger bowls are seen on the table; these would be filled with water and diners would dip the tips of their fingers in at the end of a meal as some dishes required the use of one’s hand.
The Eisenhower house at Fort Adams State Park in Newport is featured when several characters visit American Red Cross founder Clara Barton’s event in Dansville, N.Y.
Newport’s Clarke Street and the Artillery Company of Newport armory building are featured as the Dansville, N.Y., street where Ms. Barton’s rally is held.
The interior of Newport’s Colony House appears as a Red Cross location where patients are being treated.
There are mentions of Bertha Russell perhaps taking on the cause of women’s right to vote – a hint that she might follow in Alva Vanderbilt’s path? Alva, after she became Alva Belmont, was a prominent leader of the suffrage movement from the beginning of the 1900s until her death in 1933.
Ward McAllister and Mrs. Astor were the king and queen of Newport society as well as New York’s.
Mention is made of the Panama Canal as a great and modern wonder. It truly was an incredible feat of engineering but also a dangerous project that left hundreds dead. Construction began in the 1880s but was not completed until 1914.
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.
George faces a surprise development. Marian sees Mr. Raikes against Agnes’ wishes. Ada runs into an old friend. Peggy gets an opportunity.
Marian learns more about Mrs. Chamberlain. George makes a deal to benefit Bertha. Peggy meets a trailblazing newspaperman.
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.
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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