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Hunter House, Newport

Categories: Architectural Buildings, History Museums, Museums, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots, Tours
Inspirock Rating:
2.8/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web
Hunter House is a historic house in Newport, Rhode Island. It is located at 54 Washington Street in the Easton's Point neighborhood, near the northern end of the Newport Historic District.HistoryThe original portion of Hunter House was built in 1748 for Colonial Deputy Governor Jonathan Nichols, Jr. The architecture of Hunter House is currently Georgian Colonial. This large 2½-story house has a balustraded gambrel roof and heavy stud construction. In 1756, the property was sold to Colonel Joseph Wanton, Jr., who was a deputy governor of the colony and a merchant. Wanton enlarged the house by adding a south wing and a second chimney, transforming the building into a formal Georgian mansion with a large central hall. During the American Revolution, Wanton remained a Loyalist, and General William West ordered Wanton imprisoned in Providence and tried by the legislature. Eventually, Wanton fled Newport when the British left the city. Local legend has it that when Wanton and other Loyalists were fleeing Newport, space aboard British ships were at a premium, but Wanton had his own vessel filled with goods and merchandise in preparation for what he hoped would be a short exile. however, whilst bidding farewell to his wife onshore, who was staying in Newport to look after the family's interests, his ship loaded with his worldly possessions took off northwards, up Narragansett Bay towards Providence and the rebel authorities there, with the intention of turning over the ship as a prize of war, thus gaining the vessel's captain and its crew a share of the prize money while simultaneously depriving Wanton of his wealth. Wanton will die penniless shortly thereafter in British-controlled New York City. After Wanton fled, the house was used as the headquarters of Admiral de Ternay, commander of the French fleet, when French forces occupied Newport in 1780. After the war, William Hunter, a U.S. Senator and ambassador, bought Wanton's house and transformed it into a formal Georgian mansion with a large central hall.
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  • This house is a gem! We loved hearing of its role pre, mid, and post-revolutionary war. Very exciting and intriguing stories, and our tour guide Jason was excellent. The early American furniture colle...  read more »
  • This is one of the Newport Georgian Colonial houses. If you like historical sites you will love this one. 
  • This is a guided tour only runs every hour so plan carefully. I went because I had the family pass and rest of family wanted to go in pool. It's walking distance from Marriott so thought it was better...  read more »
  • Wonderful preservation with too much furniture for the period, but I understand the reasons for this as the Preservation Society wishes to allow visitors to see as much of their collection as possible. Atmospheric and excellent guides who impart a great deal of knowledge in an easy to assimilate manner. The only criticism is - restricted opening hours. My wife and I are from England, currently living in Boston, and it took three visits to gain access. Marvelous house, when we got inside !
  • Well preserved 18th century house
  • Vintage 👌
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