top graphic
Take a 360 Tour of the Inn!
Artillery Company of Newport

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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!


Belmont Chapel – Island Cemetary

July 28th, 2016 by billfarrell

BelmontThere is  a movement underway in Newport, Rhode Island to restore the Belmont Chapel located at the Island Cemetery off Farewell Street. After suffering from years of neglect and vandalism, a group of Newporters got together and formed the Belmont Chapel Foundation whose goal is to restore the chapel as a community asset and in keeping with the original intent of the chapel.

Belmont Chapel was built in 1886 by Mr. & Mrs. August Belmont, Sr to honor their daughter Jane Pauline Belmont who lived a short and pained life. The architect was George C Mason, a noted Newport architect and built by William Gosling. With the exception of the roof and staff heads holding the windows in place, no wood is used in the construction of the chapel. The chapel abuts Belmont Circle which contains the remains of the Belmont family. I recently had the opportunity to visit the chapel when the cemetery had an open house and I could not wait to go in it. I have walked by it for years and two years ago you could not see the chapel as it was completely covered by vegetation.


If you would like to read more about the Belmont Chapel or perhaps even donate to their efforts you can visit their website at Belmont Chapel Foundation .

Tall Ship Hermione

July 9th, 2015 by billfarrell

HermioneThe tall ship Hermione was in Newport, Rhode Island as part of its 2015 voyage commemorating the original voyage of General Lafayette to America in 1780. General Lafayette provided crucial support to the General Washington during the Revolutionary War. wWithout his support, the War may have had a different outcome.

More about the voyage can be seen on the website at Hermione Voyage

Gift Certificates

November 29th, 2013 by billfarrell

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer you the ability to immediately purchase a gift certificate on our website. While we have always offered gift certificates, previously you had to call and we’d take you information and mail a gift certificate to you. Now you can purchase a gift certificate in any denomination and pay immediately and print out a receipt. Your purchase online is secure and immediate. You can still call and we can take your information and mail a gift certificate to you that you can present to someone special.

Preservation Society of Newport County Calendar of Events – 2013

March 12th, 2013 by billfarrell







The Preservation Society of Newport County has announced some upcoming events  for the 2013 season at the various mansions. Please see their website  for additional details and additional events. If you’re staying at The Spring Seasons Inn, please be sure to ask about promotions we may have with the Preservation Society.

March 30 – Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch

April 28 – May 1 – The Newport Symposium “Hidden Treasures”

June 13 – Annual Meeting

June 21 – 23 – Newport flower Show

July 14 – Green Animals Children’s Topiary Party

August 3 – Summer Masked Venetian Ball

August 6 – An Evening in Honor of John G. Winslow

August 30 – September 2 – Newport Mansions Stores Member’s Sale

September 20 – 22 – Wine & Food Festival

November 24 – January 1 Christmas at the Newport Mansions

December 21 – Dinner Dance at The Breakers

Prescott Farm – where Past Meets Present

May 17th, 2012 by billfarrell

Learn how an 1812 Windmill works. Discover interesting facts about the Revolutionary War.  Explore the flower and herb gardens managed by Master Gardeners. See the ducks and geese. Snack on 18th century treats. Enjoy period games. At Prescott Farm, there is something for everyone. Prescott Farm is owned and managed by the Newport Restoration Foundation. The NRF manages period homes in Newport in addition to thier crown jewels, Doris Duke’s home, Rough Point and the Whitehorne Museum. The Newport Restoration Foundation’s web site is

Touro Synagogue – Loeb Visitors Center

May 13th, 2012 by billfarrell

Touro Synagogue Congregation was founded in 1658 by Jews fleeing the inquisition and has since become a symbol of religious freedom for all Americans. The current synagogue was designed by Peter Harrison, a well know Newport architect at the time. Dedicated in 1763, it is considered one of the most architecturally distinguished buildings of 18th century America. George Washington addressed religious freedom in his 1790 letter to the congregation by declaring, “To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport” that the new nation “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” The Synagogue was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1946.

The Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Visitors Center has been open several years now and is housed in a brand-new, period style stone building. Ambassador John L Loeb, Jr. welcomes you in his personal message:

I am John L. Loeb Jr. and I’d like to welcome you to the Loeb Visitors Center at the Touro Synagogue. The Touro Synagogue is an American treasure, the oldest active synagogue in the United States. I am a descendent of the Touro family, so it holds great personal significance for me.

This Synagogue and its early congregation are considered icons of American religious freedom because of the important letter that George Washington sent to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport in 1790. That letter directly affirmed the principle of religious liberty based on the separation of church and state that is guaranteed to every one of us through the Bill of Rights. The building stands as a physical manifestation and reminder of the event and of the concepts embodied in the letter.

Both this website and the exhibits planned for the Visitors Center tell the story of this historical landmark, its architectural beauty and its symbolic role in the development of American Democracy.

While our new Visitors Center space is being constructed, I invite you to spend some time exploring these web pages and then come visit us in Newport, Rhode Island.

Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.

The Visitors Center has been open several years now, Ambassador Loeb’s message welcomes you to visit.  Having toured the Center and the Synagogue many times, Susan and I can assure you you won’t be disappointed. Only a minutes walk from The Spring Seasons Inn. You can see their web site at Touro Synagogue. Close their page to come back to the Spring Seasons Inn.

Tours for Curious People opens in Newport, Rhode Island

May 2nd, 2012 by billfarrell

Tour for Curious People has recently opened in Newport, Rhode Island and it is a must do while visiting Newport. Started by Carol Miller, a native Newporter whose family has a long history in Newport. Carol takes her clients on a tour of the Point district of Newport, an area rich in history that goes back several hundred years. Carol is a very knowledgeable and personable tour guide who not only shares her extensive of knowledge of Newport but is also known to pull period antiques out of her pocket to supplement an interesting point that she is sharing with you. Having met Carol, Susan and I can attest to her enthusiasm and knowledge of Newport and can assure you, you won’t be disappointed or bored on this tour. Carol has a website that gives some general information that you may find useful at Close this window to return to the Spring Seasons Inn.

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