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Artillery Company of Newport

Archive for July, 2017

Artillery Company of Newport

July 24th, 2017 by billfarrell

artillery-company-of-newport5The Artillery Company of Newport is the oldest continuously operating militia in the country, chartered in 1741 during the reign of King George II of great Britain. The purpose of the the Artillery Company was to protect the town from possible attack. The unit now has over 276 years of continuous service to the State of Rhode Island and to the United States. Members of the Artillery Company have served in every war that the United States has been involved and now proudly serves as a ceremonial unit of the Rhode Island Militia, Council of Historic Commands.

The Company maintains a military museum in the Armory which is considered to have one of the most outstanding collections of foreign and domestic military uniforms and memorabilia to be seen in the United States.  The museum was started in 1950 by members, many of them donating their own personal artifacts from their own travels in World War Two and Korea and focuses on the evolution of artillery, the history of the Artillery Company of Newport (1741 – present) and exhibits on WWI & WWII. The museum also has an extensive collection of British regimental uniforms.

A couple of really exceptional pieces the museum has in its possession are four original Paul Revere cannons, cast at the Revere Foundry outside of Boston in 1798, a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington, an original letter from Washington to the Artillery Company, and an original Appeal to Heaven Flag. These are just a very small sampling of some of the great pieces the Artillery Company has on hand.

The museum is currently open on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 2PM and on Wednesday evening from 4-7PM through Columbus Day, 2017. Private tours can be arranged by calling the Company a 401-846-8488. Admission is free but donations are graciously accepted as the money that you donate goes to support the museum as we receive no outside funding.

No visit to Newport would be complete without seeing the Artillery Company of Newport. And while visiting Newport and the museum, consider staying at The Spring Seasons Inn, a Better Way to Stay where your Innkeeper is a member of the Artillery Company.


Breakers Stables – A Hidden Gem

July 20th, 2017 by billfarrell

After more than sixteen years of owning our Bed and Breakfast, Susan and I just had our first visit to the Breakers Stables. While we have sent hundreds upon hundreds of people to the mansions of the Preservation Society of Newport County and have visited most of the mansions ourselves, we never knew about the Breakers Stables. It really is a hidden gem. We just happened to be driving by it one day when we noticed the green open sign that can be seen from most of the mansions so we decided to stop and check it out. It was well worth the stop. The mansion is located on Coggeshall Avenue, about a half a mile west of the Breakers. 

IMG_3925On display at the stables are many fine examples of late 1800’s, early 1900’s carriages, many of which were also used by the Vanderbilts. One of the carriages Mr.Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt had built for him by the finest coach company around, Brewster Company of New York, was the Venture. The Venture, pictured here was taken to London, England every year along with the coachmen, stable boys and twelve teams where Mr. Vanderbilt had a stagecoach line that ran from Brighton to London which took seven hours to complete after stopping every hour to change teams and for lunch and tea.

The Stables used to have a second floor where the head coachmen lived n a spacious five room apartment and a separate area for the grooms and stable hands. Unfortunately this burned in 1970 and much of what is on display was only saved by the heroic efforts of the Newport Fire Department and many area residents. In addition to the carriages on display, you can see the stables where the horses were kept, tack rooms and a very nice display on early 1900’s railroading which the Vanderbilt family was involved in. Best of all the Stables are free with an admission to any of the Preservation Society mansions and its air conditioned! Ask us about it while staying at The Spring Seasons Inn in Newport, Rhode Island.

JFK-Jacqueline Bouvier Wedding Bells

July 19th, 2017 by billfarrell

JFKWeddingJohn F Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier at Saint Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island on September 12th, 1953. At the time Kennedy was a US Senator from Massachusetts. People come from all over the world knowing about the Kennedys and the wedding that took place inside the church, hoping to get a glimpse of where it took place only to find the doors locked as the church isn’t typically open when masses are not being help. The new pastor of Saint Mary’s, Father Kris von Maluski seeks to change that after years of being closed to those outside the parish.

Father Kris is giving presentations about the wedding on Tuesday through October 31st from 3-4PM which features video and musical segments. The talk is excellent and Father Kris is quite animated and does a fantastic job. Father Kris tells about the wedding from research and stories told to him by parishioners who experienced it firsthand. There is also a video segment featuring Hugh D. Auchincloss III, stepbrother and life long friend of Jackie in an interview given before he died in Newport in 2015.

St. Mary’s Church is located at 80 Memorial Blvd. West (at Spring St) and parking is on the William Street lot of the church. You can view the church brochure on the wedding at Return to Camelot. Saint Mary’s is also where the Farrell’s got married!


86 Spring Street, Newport, RI 02840  |  401-849-0004  |  887-294-0004  |