The Newport Historical Society is working to attract more visitors by drawing more attention to the city’s revolutionary history. Historical Society director Ruth Taylor says they plan to revamp the historic Wanton-Lymon-Hazard house into a museum that brings Newport’s role in the American Revolution to life. Right now, said Taylor, places like Boston and Concord corner the revolutionary tourist market.
“They’re eating our lunch because really important things from the same period happened here. And it’s just less well known," said Taylor.
The Newport Restoration Foundation has added a new jewel to its crown of original colonial housing. And this isn’t just any home. Its owner was a man who made American furniture-making history.
The Newport Restoration Foundation has purchased the home of Christopher Townsend, founder of the famous cabinet making company whose colonial-era furniture sells today for millions of dollars. Foundation director Pieter Roos said they picked up the 1725 red house with white trim for $645,000. The company’s original cabinet making shop is a single story wing at the right of the house.
On Monday, Newport’s Zoning Board of Review will hear an appeal of a ruling by the city’s Historic District Commission that rejected plans for a welcome center at the Breakers Mansion.
The Commission decided against the idea in a 4:3 vote during a hearing last August. The Preservation Society of Newport County wants to put the welcome center outside the historic mansion once owned by the Vanderbilt family.
Newport City Zoning Officer Guy Weston said lawyers for the Preservation Society claim the hearing was flawed by a faulty staff report.
A pair of 19th century men’s shoes has been found in the old State House in Newport. The discovery at the so-called “Colony House” was made last week. It was not a complete surprise to historians.
The brown leather men’s slippers were discovered under the floor boards of a courtroom in the old Colony House last week. The building is undergoing an extensive renovation. Ruth Taylor, executive director of the Newport Historical Society, said they date to about 1830 and were probably left there as the building was under construction.