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. Tours depart from the Museum & Shop, 127 Thames Street, unless noted.

Please check back for the full 2018 tour line up!

April 21, 2018 at 11am – Victorian Newport: The Kay-Catherine Historic District

Discover Victorian Newport. Join John R. Tschirch, Visiting Curator of Urban History, as he traces the evolution of Victorian Newport from the civic pride that created Touro Park to the private world of artists, writers, and philosophers who made their homes in the meadows overlooking Easton’s Pond. The Kay-Catherine-Old Beach Road Historic District is a significant example of mid-19th century urban planning and architectural innovation. Tickets must be purchased in advance for this tour. The tour departure point will be given at time of ticket purchase. 


May 19, 2018 at 11am – The Townsends & Goddards: Newport’s Legendary Cabinet Makers

Many 18th-century furniture masterpieces were made in Newport. Join furniture maker Jeffrey Greene for a tour where he discusses members of the Townsend and Goddard families and their work. See the homes where these cabinet makers lived and the shops where these noteworthy pieces were made.


June 16, 2018 at 11am – Working on the Point: Colonial Newport

Newport’s colonial harbor was a gateway to the Atlantic world. Harbor front neighborhoods like the Point were bustling with waterfront activity. Walk in the footsteps of the sailors, craftsmen and merchants who once lived and worked in this historic neighborhood.


July 21, 2018 at 11am – The French in 18th Century 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 18, 2018 at 11am – The British Occupation of Newport

In 1775 as the Revolutionary War officially began, 7,000 British and Hessian soldiers invaded Newport creating an occupation that lasted for nearly 3 years. This tour explores the sites and stories of the soldiers and citizens affected during this time. Learn why the British targeted Newport, how their presence in the 1770s changed the city, and how this impacted the colonial architecture that Newport is famous for today.


September 15, 2018 at 11am – When the Puritans Came to Newport

Most Rhode Islanders know our state’s first settlers were driven out of Massachusetts in the 1630s for their religious beliefs.  But did you know that in the 1690s the Puritan church came to Newport to promote its religion?  Within a few decades, they had established two thriving churches, each led by a minister who was among colonial Newport’s most influential leaders.  These churches — which had come to be called Congregationalist — contributed to the development of other historic churches in Newport.  The tour will look at how the Puritans came to be in Newport and how they changed over time.  The tour will include a visit to two of Newport’s historic houses of worship.


October 20, 2018 at 11am – Photographing Stones & Souls in the Common Burying Ground

The stones and sites in cemeteries have captivated people for decades. Newport’s Common Burial Ground provides a wealth of images waiting to be photographed. The material, craftsmanship and aging of the stones resting in this unique setting provide unlimited opportunities to capture remarkable images. Appropriate for photographers of all skill levels; the ground is uneven, proper footwear is recommended. Don’t forget your camera!


November 17, 2018 at 11am – TBD