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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.
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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.
☞ 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.
☞ Ward McAllister and Mrs. Astor were the king and queen of Newport society as well as New York’s.
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.
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.
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.
As New York celebrates a historic event, Bertha reconsiders her loyalty to the Met while Marian has doubts about her future.
Marian confesses her true feelings. Jack receives welcome news. Bertha and Mrs. Astor make their final moves in the opera war.
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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