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Newport Rhode Island Mansion Tours & Lodging

Updated on May 12, 2016

Marble House Mansion Photo

The Marble House Mansion in Winter Season.
The Marble House Mansion in Winter Season. | Source

The Gilded Age Houses of the Newport Mansions

Come take a glimpse of the opulent cottages of Newport, Rhode Island and experience an era when America's wealthiest and most influential families built fabulous mansions along Newport's Bellevue Avenue. The drive to out-do their peers was intense during the Gilded Age of the 1880's and 1890's and some of America's wealthiest families, sometimes in competition with members of their own kin competed to create the most lavish "cottages" in the world right here in America.

This hub will focus on three "cottages" which are known as the Gilded Age Houses of the Newport Mansions- the Marble House, the Breakers and the Elms. Each has been restored and preserved by the ongoing efforts of the Preservation Society of Newport County, a private non-profit educational organization founded in 1945, which maintains a total of 10 historic house museums that display an extraordinary cross section of American architectures and interiors.

Tickets for the mansions pictured in this hub can be purchased as a group or individually and include an audio tour (also available in French, German and Spanish translations) allowing you to listen to the voices, memories and experiences of generations of people who lived and worked in these mansions. Specific ticket and touring information can be viewed online at The Preservation Society of Newport County website which is listed below.

After completing the tour(s) you will be awe-struck at the monumental buildings, social activities of the wealthy and powerful families of the era as well as the stories of what it was like to work for these families and of the changing role of women that defined that age.

Photo Tour of The Breakers

The Breakers' main or west entrance as seen after approaching through the wrought iron gateway shown in next photo.
The Breakers' main or west entrance as seen after approaching through the wrought iron gateway shown in next photo. | Source
Breakers' main entrance has a 30 foot wrought iron gateway topped with elaborate scroll-work including the acorn and oak leaf family symbol, surrounding the initials of Cornelius Vanderbilt II.
Breakers' main entrance has a 30 foot wrought iron gateway topped with elaborate scroll-work including the acorn and oak leaf family symbol, surrounding the initials of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. | Source
View from one of The Breakers' terraces.
View from one of The Breakers' terraces. | Source
Terrace which looks out on a colorful garden of pink and white alyssum and blue ageratum during the warmer seasons.
Terrace which looks out on a colorful garden of pink and white alyssum and blue ageratum during the warmer seasons. | Source

The Breakers

The Breakers is on Ochre Point, a half-mile from the Bellevue Avenue mansions and is the largest and most frequently visited Newport "cottage". It is a Renaissance Revival structure that was built as a summer estate for New York Central Railroad President Cornelius Vanderbilt II without limitations of scale or expense. Architect Richard Morris Hunt drew his inspiration from 16th century palaces built for the merchant-princes of Genoa and Turin.

The Breakers' main entrance is approached through 30-foot high gateways which are part of a limestone and iron fence that borders the property on all but the ocean side. Pin oaks and red maples line the front drive.

The grounds of The Breakers cover approximately a dozen acres and include a formally landscaped terrace which is surrounded by Japanese yew, Chinese juniper and dwarf hemlock.

The Breakers' opulent interior features rare marble, alabaster, and gilded woods throughout. Rooms of the first and second floors open onto a 45-foot high central space known as the Great Hall which was used for elaborate balls and parties that the Vanderbilts hosted. Guests included international dignitaries as well as some of America's wealthiest and most elite families.

But even the wealthiest of families have their share of tragedy and Cornelius Vanderbilt II and his wife, Alice, had theirs. The couple had seven children and one, Alice Gwynne, died of scarlet fever at the age of five. Their oldest son, William Henry II, died of typhoid fever at age 22 while attending Yale.

Cornelius himself, suffered a paralytic stroke at age 53 which ended his active participation in business. He spent his last 3 years at The Breakers.

Mrs. Vanderbilt died at age 89 and left The Breakers to her daughter Gladys (then Countess Laszlo Szechenyi). The Countess leased the property to The Preservation Society of Newport County for a symbolic fee of $1.00 per year and she continued to pay The Breakers' major expenses until her death in 1965. The Preservation Society continued to lease the house from her heirs and also took on the expense of maintenance and taxes until they finally purchased the house and grounds in 1973.

The Marble House & Chinese Tea House

Front entrance gate of The Marble House decorated with a giant Christmas wreath.
Front entrance gate of The Marble House decorated with a giant Christmas wreath. | Source
Back of The Marble House at winter time.
Back of The Marble House at winter time. | Source
View from Marble House grounds.
View from Marble House grounds. | Source
Front of Chinese Tea House overlooks the waterview in previous photo.
Front of Chinese Tea House overlooks the waterview in previous photo. | Source
Side of Tea House.
Side of Tea House. | Source

The Marble House

The Marble House was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and has a neoclassical design derived from that of the Petit Trianon at Versailles. William K. Vanderbilt and his wife, Alva, wanted their new summer house to make a dramatic debut that would leave visitors awe-struck and spent a reported $11,000,000 in 1892 to create what Alva Vanderbilt called a "temple to the arts." Though the house was William's birthday gift to Alva, she was involved with its creation from the beginning and demanded authentically reproduced period buildings and interiors.

The Marble House lives up to its name and between the exterior, which is all marble, and the interior, which contains a large amount of marble, has a total of 500,000 cubic feet of marble.

The most impressive room in the house is the Gold Ballroom which epitomizes the lavish opulence of the Gilded Age. It has a Louis XIV motif and gilt surfaces, gilt mirrors and gilt chandeliers that make visitors feel as though they've stepped into a massive jewel box.

In later life Alva Vanderbilt became an outspoken proponent of equality between the sexes and women's rights. In 1912 she inaugurated the Newport County Women's Suffrage League and two years later she presided over a conference of women reformers on the back lawn of the Marble House. She also championed the rights of women industrial workers and hosted "Votes for Women" rallies.

By the beginning of World War I the way of life associated with the Newport cottages was being replaced by a less formal style and Alva made a very visible architectural statement that unofficially proclaimed the Gilded Age of ostentatious entertaining was over. She built a Chinese Tea House, and set it on the cliffs behind Marble House. The tea house was inspired by buildings of southern China and the interior decoration includes wooden panels painted in the style of the Ming Dynasty. The tea house was built for small receptions and tea parties and had to be moved in 1977 when the seawall it was on became dangerously deteriorated. It's now perched on the back of the Marble House lawn and provides a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Elms Photo Tour

Front of The Elms. Note the marble sphinxes which flank the front entrance.
Front of The Elms. Note the marble sphinxes which flank the front entrance. | Source
One of the iron gates marking the circular driveway, decorated with a large wreath for Christmas.
One of the iron gates marking the circular driveway, decorated with a large wreath for Christmas. | Source
Back of The Elms which has a dramatic grouping of statues.
Back of The Elms which has a dramatic grouping of statues. | Source
Source
Source

The Elms

The Elms was built as a magnificent summer retreat for coal magnate, Edward Julius Berwind and his wife, Herminie, in 1901. It is an elegant French chateau inspired by the 18th century Chateau d' Asnieres and has an elaborate sunken garden on its grounds. Architect Horace Trumbauer created a simple classical design of balanced proportions by giving The Elms a rounded central section flanked by wings of equal size.

The interior of The Elms has fine parquet floors, ceiling paintings and elaborate moldings that duplicate 18th century period detailing but it also contains a number of other decorative styles that were typical of turn of the century interior decorating, giving it an eclectic flare.

The Elms has spectacular grounds even though the original elm trees have disappeared. New trees are planted periodically in an effort to replace the lost elms and the grounds have carefully clipped and shaped gingko, maple, and linden trees plus masses of rhododendron.

The estate is also enhanced by a large number of stone, marble, and bronze statues and fountains. Marble sphinxes flank the front entrance and sculpture groups top the parapet and are arranged on the back terrace. Near the western edge of the grounds are two small marble garden pavilions with copper roofs in the 18th century French style which marks the entrance to a formal sunken garden that blooms with hundreds of pink and white begonias during the summer season.

In 1962 The Elms was about to be demolished to make way for new development when friends of The Preservation Society of Newport County raised money to buy it. Though the original furnishings, which contained a large collection of art and antiques from sources all over Europe, had already been auctioned off some have since been restored to The Elms through gifts and loans and many similar furnishings have been procured by the society so that today The Elms and its park like grounds are still an elegant example of the Gilded Era's impulse to bring the European past to life in America.

Special Events & Seasonal Activities at Newport Mansions

Experience Christmas at the Newport Mansions from mid November to New Year's Day when the mansions are adorned with spectacular decorations including thousands of poinsettia plants, Christmas trees, 19th century style ornaments, wreaths and floral arrangements. During the holiday season, with the exception of Christmas Day, The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House are open daily.

Seasonal activities for the warmer months include lunch and snacks on the terrace of the historic carriage house at The Elms which has bistro tables overlooking the estate's fountains and sunken garden, or at the Tea House on The Marble House grounds which has a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Marble House and another Newport Mansion, Rosecliff, host the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival in September.

Any time of year is a good time to enjoy a free, self-guided walking tour along Bellevue Avenue which has old fashioned streetlights and a series of 11 markers that provide historic information about the mansions that you'll be able to see from the sidewalk as you take a leisurely stroll.

Bellevue Avenue is also home to over 50 exciting shops, museums, hotels and restaurants.

For complete information about mansion tours, year round operating schedules, other special events and to purchase tickets or plan your visit in advance go to the Preservation Society of Newport County website link listed below.

Romantic Getaways to Newport, Rhode Island

Turn your visit to the Newport Mansions into a memorable romantic weekend getaway or full vacation by staying at one of the unique Bed & Breakfast Inns that are in historic downtown Newport. For your convenience I've listed several of the inns and their websites below but there are other inns and many types of lodging available in Newport which can be accessed through the Go Newport website at http://www.gonewport.com/. The Go Newport website also includes comprehensive information about where to eat and shop as well as all Newport events and activities.

The Hotel Viking is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and has 209 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, a full-service spa and restaurant. See more information at www.HotelViking.com.

The Almondy Bed & Breakfast Inn is a Victorian Bed & Breakfast Inn that has five elegant guestrooms each uniquely decorated with fine antiques. The rooms have private baths with jacuzzis and fireplaces. See more information at www.almondyinn.com.

The Admiral Fitzroy Inn is a European-style hotel in the heart of Newport that was built in 1854. The inn has 18 unique rooms plus a charming breakfast room. See more information at www.admiralfitzroy.com.

Map of Newport Rhode Island

show route and directions
A marker596 Bellevue Ave. Newport, Rhode Island -
596 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840, USA
get directions

The Marble House Mansion.

B marker367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island -
367 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840, USA
get directions

The Elms Mansion.

C marker44 Ochre Point Ave., Newport, Rhode Island -
44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840, USA
get directions

The Breakers Mansion.

Newport Mansions Poll

Have you ever visited the Newport Mansions?

See results

Comments

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  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Hello Again, DzyMsLizzy,

    Thanks for answering my question. I can see where it would be hard to write something when there's no way to verify whether your recollections are accurate.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

    No, I've not written a hub on the Green's mansion or my mother's memories, and probably will not. They are not my memories, and my recollection of her stories is just too fuzzy.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Dear Mary,

    Thanks for the vote up! When I lived in NY I loved visiting the historic mansions along the Hudson River and appreciated the fact that, in many cases, I could roam the grounds for free because a fee was only charged for mansion tours.

    Sending Blessings Your Way,

    Gail

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Aw Bill, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to wish me such lovely congrats!

    Your friendship and support are greatly appreciated.

    I hope you and Bev are enjoying springtime.

    Hugs,

    Gail

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Dear DzyMsLizzy,

    Thanks for taking time to leave such an interesting comment about your mother's memories about visiting Colonel Green's nearby mansion in Round Hill, MA. How cool that she was able to enjoy "lawn parties" in such a setting, even though she didn't live that lifestyle on a daily basis.

    I read the link you included and found the history of the Green family to be fascinating. The contrast between mother and son was like night and day, but at least Colonel Green respectfully waited until after his mother's death before he married the "prostitute" who had been his long time companion. Another example of truth being stranger than fiction.

    Have you written a hub about this?

    Best Regards,

    Gail

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Genna,

    Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment. Yes, the Breakers is my favorite, too, and the story of the Vanderbilt family does have heartbreak in it that I'd been completely unaware of.

    I also remember being surprised at how little "freedom" in terms of time to do what one wanted to do, versus what one is expected to do, this otherwise luxurious, pampered lifestyle offered.

    I appreciate your thoughtful comment and support.

    Hope you are having a wonderful spring.

    Hugs,

    Gail

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

    Isn't it amazing to see the opulence of the rich? You certainly deserved the HOTD for this wonderful hub about some magnificent "cottages". Your photos, as one of the other comments stated, are very professional looking too! Well done my friend.

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Congrats, my friend, on the HOTD. I love it when good things happen to good people.

    hugs

    bill

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Very interesting and well done! Congrats on HOTD!

    My ancestry is in New England, mainly Massachusetts, but Rhode Island is right next door--those states are so small you can easily tour 2 or 3 in a day. ;)

    I had a cousin who lived in Portsmouth, R.I., and so I knew about these, and have seen them, but only from the outside on a drive-by tour. So I kind of cheated by voting 'yes' in your poll. LOL

    My mother's childhood memories include a few visits to "Colonel Green's" in Round Hill, MA. The Greens were distant relatives on our Howland side, and it was the Col.'s custom to invite the area children over for 'lawn parties.' He had no children of his own.

    My mother's family was not rich, and by no means were they anywhere near moving in those social circles. It was just something the Col. enjoyed doing. I THINK that is how the story went; I may be mistaken. Could be the grounds were opened after his death, and people were allowed to picnic there or some such thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Howland_Robins.../media/File:Col_green_mansion.jpg

    Voted up, interesting and beautiful

  • Genna East profile image

    Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Congratulations, Gail, on HOTD. Excellent article. I’ve been on those tours, and have taken friends visiting from other places in the country to those “steps into the past.” They are often shocked that these are “cottages.” The Breakers seems to be everyone’s favorite. (Many visitors are not aware of the tragedies that befall the wealthy, and the Vanderbilts had their fare share.) I love the music room, and the morning room with the flood of sunshine from the east. Although I did get a sense of loneliness in Mrs. Vanderbilt’s bedroom. Newport is a favorite haunt of mine, and you have mentioned wonderful activities for anyone who wants to spend time in this timeless seaside city. Voted up and shared.

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Gail, I believe she did. It was way better than Abigail. You're very welcome.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Sunshine,

    Glad you enjoyed the virtual tour. The mansions are breathtaking and you really do feel like you're in a different era when exploring them.

    Hope you do get a chance to go north one day.

    Hugs,

    Gail

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Kristen,

    Glad you enjoyed the hub and do hope you get to visit Newport, RI, someday.

    Thanks for the vote up.

    I've always loved my name because it means joy. Hope your mother likes it, too!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I never knew Rhode Island had mansions. I need to get out more. Thank you for the tour! A well earned HOTD. Spectacular!

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Gail, congrats on the HOTD. This was a lovely hub about the Breakers in Newport Beach. I would love to go there someday. Voted up for beautiful! BTW, you have the same name as my mother (same spelling, too.)

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Mary,

    Hope you do get to go someday. One of the best things about Newport is that each season has a distinctive charm and character to it.

    Thanks for the vote up and share!

    Blessings & Hugs,

    Gail

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

    Congrats on your well deserved HOTD! I have never been to RI, but I'd sure like to go some day. Your tour of these wonderful mansion was wonderful, and I enjoyed your photos.

    Voted UP and shared.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Thanks bdegiulio, I appreciate your feedback and good wishes. RI is small, like my current state of DE, but it's coastal area is a jewel.

    Hope you're enjoying spring.

    Gail

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

    Wonderful hub Gail. I grew up in RI so I am very familiar with the mansions of Newport. Enjoyed the tour. Congratulations on the HOTD.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Boxxies,

    So glad you enjoyed the tour and thanks for leaving a comment. It's greatly appreciated.

  • boxxies profile image

    boxxies 4 years ago

    Beaautiful hub

    Thanks for the tour

    Poutine

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Craiglyn,

    Wow, you're on a roll. Loved the article and cast my vote.

    Good luck.

  • craiglyn profile image

    Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    You are so welcome! Gail, I have been nominated for another nugget for my stry A Canadian Love Affair - maybe if you like my story you can vote for me. I so appreciated your vote on my last one. Here is where to vote https://hubpages.com/food

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Craiglyn,

    So glad this brought back great memories for you of times you shared with your husband.

    Yes, the restaurants are fabulous and Newport is a beautiful place to visit.

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment that adds to the substance of this hub. It's greatly appreciated.

    Hub Hugs,

    Gail

  • craiglyn profile image

    Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    My husband and I took a drive over to Newport back about 15 years ago when we were visiting the casino in Connecticut. We thoroughly enjoyed Newport and this hub brought back great memories for me. While there we also had dinner in a very nice restaurant (the name escapes now); we had the most delicious rack of lamb -and I did not like lamb before that. Great information on this hub.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Thanks Cabmgmnt,

    So glad you enjoyed the hub. I can certainly see why you love that part of Rhode Island and you're lucky to live nearby. I want to go back during summer or fall someday as I'm sure each season has its own unique beauty and colors.

    I appreciate your taking time to leave such a lovely comment.

  • cabmgmnt profile image

    Corey 5 years ago from Northfield, MA

    Being from New England, I am very familiar with this part of Rhode island and just love it. Your hub has great information and resources and the pictures are fantastic.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Peggy,

    So glad that you enjoyed your cyber-visit. We were blessed to be able to see the "cottages" all decked out in their holiday finery but I'd love to return someday when the magnificent gardens are in bloom.

    Thanks for the vote up and sharing. It's greatly appreciated.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Thanks for showing us these magnificent "cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island. I enjoyed hearing the details you gave about the people who lived in them, etc. Great photos! If I never get to view them in person, at least I have a flavor of the area because of your great hub. Up votes and shared.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Dmdiaz,

    Glad it brought back good memories for you. I thought they were all spectacular.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

  • dmdiaz profile image

    dmdiaz 5 years ago

    Brings back great memories. The Elms is my favorite. Something about that place.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Eddy,

    I thought you'd commented on it before also and really appreciate you reading it again and leaving such a lovely comment.

    Am so looking forward to sharing more hubs in 2012 and seeing some of your books in print.

    Take Care and Hope You Had a Splendid New Year Celebration,

    Gail

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Sharyn,

    Am thrilled you enjoyed your cyber visit and appreciate your feedback and ongoing support.

    Am looking forward to reading and sharing many hubs with you in 2012.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

    I thought that I had commented on this one, I know that I have read it before.

    Well better late than never I suppose.

    An awesome hub as yours always are and I have to vote a big massive up up and away.

    I send you a whole load of good wishes from here in Wales and may you have a brilliant New year.

    Take care my friend.

    Eddy.

  • Sharyn's Slant profile image

    Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

    Awesome, well written & researched hub, as usual HBN. Your tours are simply wonderful! Hope you are enjoying the holidays . . .

    Sharyn

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Movie Master,

    In present day America we call them mansions, too, but in the era of the Gilded Age, the wealthy referred to them as cottages. Don't know why. Just know that's what we were told on the tour!

    So glad you enjoyed your virtual visit and the photos.

    Thanks for the vote up.

    Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season,

    Gail

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Gail, they are a bit different to what we call 'cottages' in the UK!

    I doubt I will ever visit Rhode Island and these mansions, this was the next best thing - thank you for the very interesting tour and your wonderful photos.

    Voted up, best wishes MM

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Audrey,

    Thanks for the excellent suggestions. It didn't even occur to me to do a separate hub on each but I'm sure I could have.

    Unfortunately, interior photographs are strictly forbidden! Signs posted everywhere and I was pleasantly, but firmly, told to put the camera away as soon as the headsets were given to me. (I'd already shut the camera off and covered the lens but at that point I put the camera back into its bag.)

    Two mansions did allow photos of a single, specific tree in one of the rooms but unfortunately the photos I took of them turned out too dark and fuzzy to use.

    Thanks for the great feedback and all your support!

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

    Hi Gail - I think I'd do one on each of these fabulous places~ How beautifully presented and what fun places to go for a gawk!!

    Are you allowed to go inside and take photos as well? And present the amenities? They would make fabulous tourist articles for someone wanting to check out each one.....just a thought~

    Happiest of Holidays to you!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Lyricwriter, Am so thrilled you enjoyed the photos and the history about the mansions and the families that lived there.

    The Japanese tea house was quite beautiful and very ornate. It was closed up for the winter but they serve lunches in it during the warmer months.

    Thanks so much for your ongoing support. Hope you, too, have a Merry Christmas with your loved ones.

  • thelyricwriter profile image

    Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

    Up and all across but funny. It is always great to view your pictures. These are wonderful photos. I have always liked the Chinese house styles, also their decorations. I also enjoyed the history aspect of this article as well. This is a class A article HBN. You sure do make such areas desirable. Beautiful structures. Great article. Hope you are doing well Gail. Merry Christmas to you and your family and loved ones. Take care.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Melovy,

    Thanks for your insightful comment.

    I, too, was quite amazed by Alva's participation in the Women's Rights Movement and had fun imagining her hosting meetings on The Marble House grounds.

    I was also grateful for Gladys Vanderbilt's (Countess Laszlo Szechenyi) generous philanthropy which has made it possible for future generations of visitors from all over the world to enjoy The Breakers.

    And I have to admit that the thing I loved best about both of those mansions were the breathtaking ocean views. I'd love to return someday when the gardens are in full bloom.

    It's wonderful that you've been to the other New England states. Rhode Island is small and I've only seen the Newport area but it's definitely worth visiting if you're ever in New England again.

    Mystic Seaport in Connecticut is only an hour away and is also a fabulous place for those who love the sea and all things nautical. It will be my next "tourism" style hub and another labor of love as I'm not sponsored by the tourism industry.

    Thanks for the kind words and your support.

  • Melovy profile image

    Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

    Wow, I was quite carried away imagining life with the Vanderbilts! So interesting to read about Alva who championed the rights of industrial women workers, and of Gladys who rented her house out for so little. I love when rich people are also kind, because it’s easy to assume the mega rich live such pampered lives they forget about others, and it’s not always so as you’ve illustrated here.

    I also enjoyed reading about the houses and looking at the photos. :) (Does it say something about me that my favourites are those with the sea views? Hmm…)

    Rhode Island is the only New England state I haven’t visited, and I’d love to go some day - and back to the others as I loved that part of the States.

    Good to see you’re still doing your bit for the Eastern Seaboard tourism industry - I hope they are paying you well! :)

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Danette,

    So glad you enjoyed the hub. The interiors are awesome but signs and staff warn that taking photos of the interior is not allowed.

    I'm sure today's mega-rich live an equally opulent lifestyle.

    It's nice to visit and experience the majesty of the cottages and grounds, but those who actually lived there had very restricted lives with many social "duties" that took up most of their time.

    It was quite fascinating to learn about the era, though.

    Thanks for the vote up.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year.

  • Danette Watt profile image

    Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

    I'd love to have one of those "cottages"! They are beautiful that's for sure. I suppose it isn't that much different than today's mega-rich and celebrities building McMansions. I'd love to take a peek inside them. Voted up and interesting.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Jbrock2041,

    Am so glad you enjoyed the hub and I greatly appreciate you taking time to leave me feedback.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Welcome Princesswithapen,

    So glad that you enjoyed your arm chair travelling and thank you for leaving such a lovely comment.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Martie,

    Thanks for your great comment. That's some dream you had!

    Yeah, "cottages" in today's meaning is usual a plain and simple structure but in the Gilded Age it was apparently fashionable to call seaside mansions cottages.

    Didn't realize there were similar mansions in South Africa but thanks for sharing that very interesting fact!

    Am glad you enjoyed the hub and appreciate the vote up.

  • jbrock2041 profile image

    jbrock2041 5 years ago from Park City, UT

    You did a great job on this hub. I liked the information and it's like I went there after reading your hub. I also liked the addition of the romantic getaway.

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    princesswithapen 5 years ago

    The view from the marble house looks stunning and very pleasing. It felt great to do a bit of armchair travelling through the 3 cottages of Newport. Awesome hub!

    Princesswithapen

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    Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

    Happyboomernurse –

    Wow! Do you really call those mansions 'cottages'? One of the strange dreams that haunt me quite often is of a similar mansion. In my dream we (my grandmother and I) live on the ground level – the 2nd story is dilapidated in dust and spider webs, but I am in there, searching for something.

    We have similar mansions in South Africa – originally the property of stinky-rich people in the mining industries and in politics. The houses of the latter of course not as old as the first.

    Thanks for this excellent hub, Gail! Voted UP and upper.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Moonlake,

    So glad you got to visit the mansions.

    The thing that struck me about the cleaning aspect of the mansions is that it took the servants about 6 weeks to complete spring cleaning in preparation for the owners and their families showing up for a summer season. It also took about 30 servants to smoothly run a mansion when the owners were present.

    I loved the mansions but couldn't imagine living in one, either.

    Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. It's greatly appreciated.

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 5 years ago from America

    I've been there and loved seeing all the mansions. They are so pretty. I can't imagine having all that room, don't want to clean it.

    Enjoyed your hub.

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    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Alastar,

    So glad you enjoyed the hub. I'm fascinated by American Mansions and have visited the Biltmore plus mansions along the Hudson River Valley where I used to live and several of the plantation mansions outside of Charleston, SC.

    What I liked best about the Newport Mansions is that there are so many right next to each other and they're beautifully preserved. Plus the stories on their tour tapes really brought the mansions and the families that built and lived in them to life, including tales about the staff and staff's families.

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

    The Breakers is magnificent and this is the first close-up look I've had at it. Gail, you took some professional looking photos there, and at the Elms and Marble House, neither of which I've ever heard of. Great reading the history on all these too. The Biltmore House is down here in Asheville and they say the Vanderbilt who built it was the poor one in the family..lol!

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    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Hyphenbird,

    So glad you enjoyed it. The mansions are awesome but when I learned about all the social responsibilities and restrictions that the ladies of the house had to follow I was quite satisfied to be living in the current era where our freedoms are many. I didn't write about the social responsibilities but they were many and kept the ladies busy virtually every minute of every day!

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    These are gorgeous. It gives one a view of how the other half lived back then (and now). Those Vanderbilts love building and were great architects. You could compose a travel guide and book with your knowledge and beautiful photos.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Arlene Poma,

    So glad you enjoyed your virtual trip and hope you make it there in person someday. Thanks for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Every time I see your santa hat it puts me in the holiday spirit!

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    Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

    Ooooooooo! Never been, but thank you for taking me there! Voted up and everything else. And bookmarked for "someday."

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    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Writer20,

    So glad you enjoyed the photos. I hope the hub does inspire people to visit as these mansions are a truly special part of American heritage.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi J.S. Matthew,

    Am thrilled that you feel I did a good job on this hub although no words or photos could do these stunning mansions justice. One has to visit them to feel the awe inspiring grounds and buildings. I just returned from a visit and the flower displays and Christmas decorations were truly spectacular!

    You are lucky to work in such a beautiful town.

    Thanks for the vote up and for sharing this hub. It's greatly appreciated.

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

    Wonderful photos and great information. I bet many people will go there.

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Great Hub! I am lucky because I get to work in Newport every Friday and sometimes my deliveries take me to Bellevue Ave. I have visited the Breakers and Marble House and I have to say that you can't imagine the splendor until you see it in person! They really are beautiful places. You did a great job with this Hub! Voting up and sharing!

    JSMatthew~