Tour of the Month

Beginning in April and running through November, on the third Saturday of the month at 11am, Newport History Tours presents a tour on a focused topic by a guest guide. Reservations required as space is limited. Tours cost $20 per person, $15 Newport Historical Society members and active duty military with ID. 401.841.8770.

Please phone to confirm the tour topic.

April 15, 2017 at 11am – Creative Survival: 18th & 19th century African Community in Newport. Discover the early history of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free. This tour looks at the places where slaves lived and labored, along with locations where free blacks built their enterprises and supported a new local industry. It concludes in the country’s oldest intact African-American graveyard, “God’s Little Acre.”

May 20, 2017 at 11am – Road to Independence and the Colony House. Riots and rebellions, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s role in the American Revolution. Visit the Colony House, built in 1739, for RI’s colonial government this historic building was the site of many important events. View a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington.

Bonus Tour! May 27 at 11am – Colonial Stone Carvers. The Common Burying Ground features a rich historic record of the lives of Newporters. It also showcases beautiful colonial craftsmanship worthy of a museum. This tour will focus on the art and the carvers. Stones from the Stevens shop are at the heart of the tour but other prominent carvers’ work will be included.

June 17, 2017 at 11am – Creative Survival: 18th & 19th century African Community in Newport. Discover the early history of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free. This tour looks at the places where slaves lived and labored, along with locations where free blacks built their enterprises and supported a new local industry. It concludes in the country’s oldest intact African-American graveyard, “God’s Little Acre.”

July 15, 2017 at 11am – Newport’s Native History. Aquidneck Island’s history as a summer resort begins long before the Gilded Age. As archaeological deposits confirm, for hundreds of years prior to contact with Europeans, groups of Native Americans came to Newport to enjoy the fruits of the sea in the summertime. In fact, the first streets of Newport actually began as Native American paths and Spring Street itself gets its name from a freshwater spring that had been used by the local indigenous peoples for centuries. Come learn about the Native American archaeology literally right under your feet!

August 19, 2017 at 11am – Spring Forth: A Walking Tour of Newport’s Colonial Origins. Explore the earliest colonial foundations of Newport’s urban planning and streetscapes. Beginning with the original settlements near Spring Street, the tour winds its way through the Historic Hill to Touro Park, investigating land use patterns and centuries of changing urban geography.

September 16, 2017 at 11am – Estate Gardeners. The well-manicured lawns and carefully cultivated gardens of Newport’s Gilded Age estates were as important as the famous “cottages”. Maintaining them was a herculean effort. Join Frank Amaral, Newport Restoration Foundation Head Landscaper, and Harry Eudenbach, historian and author of Estate Gardeners of Newport on a walking tour that explores the stories of the gardeners, both past and present, who have worked at many of Newport’s finest homes.

October 21, 2017 at 11am – Common Burying Ground. Explore the Common Burying Ground. Learn about the stone carvers, their art and the diverse people buried there who helped shape Newport’s history.

November 18, 2017 at 11am – Bricks, Sticks and the Vernon House. Discover Newport’s exquisitely preserved architecture, from colonial era to Victorian splendor. This tour stops inside the Vernon House, one of the most lavish buildings in colonial Newport. Explore the architecture and craftsmanship of this Georgian home including its remarkable Chinoiserie parlor panels which are believed to be unique in colonial America.

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