Explore Newport’s history in greater depth during the Tour of the Month. Beginning in March and running through November, on the third Saturday of the month at 11am, Newport History Tours will present a tour on a focused topic by a guest guide. Reservations required as space is limited. Tours cost $15 per person, $10 Newport Historical Society members and active duty military with ID. 401.841.8770
March 22, 2014 at 11am
150 Years of Railroading: The Old Colony & Newport Railway
While many New Englanders were off fighting the Civil War, others were laying railroad tracks that would connect Newport to Boston through Fall River which began 150 years of train service on Aquidneck Island. In this special riding tour on the Old Colony & Newport Railway, NHS guide and Old Colony conductor Chuck Flippo will lead a panel presentation on the railroad’s history and its role in Gilded Age Newport, and share how it adapted to 20th century changes in transportation and the Island’s economy.
April 19, 2014 at 11am
Newport Cabinetmaker’s Tour
Colonial Newport was home to a thriving furniture-making industry, including the renowned Townsend and Goddard workshops. Today the history of this furniture making tradition is still tangible in the exquisitely preserved colonial Point neighborhood. Join Newport Restoration Foundation Executive Director Pieter Roos on a walking tour of the Townsend and Goddard workshops as he explores the lives of these artisans.
May 17, 2014 at 11am
Russell Warren’s Newport
Russell Warren was an important architect in southeast New England and Charleston, South Carolina in the first half of the 19th Century. He designed Newport landmarks such as the Zion Episcopal Church (now Jane Pickens Theater) and the Levi Gale House. Furthermore his work with some of the wealthiest and most influential people of his time makes him a fascinating subject for study. This tour visits sites from his life and explores his connections with Newport’s history.
June 21, 2014 at 11am
An Anatomy of a Colonial Home
Join Newport Restoration Foundation Director of Preservation Robert Foley for an in-depth look at the construction of a colonial home. This tour takes visitors inside 88 Bridge Street, the NRF’s latest preservation undertaking, for a behind-the-walls look at colonial construction techniques and materials from floor to ceiling. Space is limited to 16 guests. Advance registration is required; parking and departure information will be shared when reservations are made.
July 19, 2014 at 11am
French in Newport
Explore the heart of 18th century Newport and discuss the year-long period when roughly 12,000 French soldiers and sailors cohabited with Newport citizens during the American Revolution. Learn how the French contribution to the Revolutionary War was vital to the success of American Independence—and it began in Newport.
August 16, 2014 at 11am
The Stamp Act Riot and the Road to Revolution
August 1765. Newport was one of the leading cities of British North America, experiencing a Golden Age of wealth and cultural refinement. And yet a group of Newporters decided to organize a protest that turned Newport’s leading citizens against each other, setting the city and Rhode Island on a path to rebellion against Great Britain. What was Newport like in 1765? What happened on the city’s streets on those fateful summer days? What led Newport’s citizens to turn against each other? Learn more about this important part of Newport’s story and get a glimpse of America on the eve of Revolution.
September 20, 2014 at 11am
By the height of Newport’s Golden Age, over half of the city’s population was Quaker. Explore the Great Friends Meeting House, the Point neighborhood and other sites relating to the Society of Friends with historian Elizabeth Cazden. Learn about select Quaker merchants, craftsmen and politicians who played key roles in the colonial city.
October 18, 2014 at 11am
William Ellery Channing’s Newport
William Ellery Channing, a key figure in the Unitarian Church and influential in the Transcendental and abolition movements, was born in Newport in 1780. Visit sites from his life, learn about his ideas and explore his family’s connections with Newport history.
November 15, 2014 at 11am: Details forthcoming.