We spent our last morning in Newport, Rhode Island, 2015, looking at the remaining Mansion Houses that we had left on our ticket from the day before. I was determined to get my moneys worth, but again disappointed that taking photos of the interior were a no go. I have found one photo of the interior, just so you can see a little of the great wealth theses houses display.
The Castle-by-the-Sea was really one of the first of the grand Bellevue Avenue mansions of the Gilded Age in Newport. The original estate was constructed in 1852, long before the ornate mansions of the Vanderbilt families.
We had a guided tour, which was quite interesting, but all I kept seeing were wonderful photos of the interior I could have taken. One thing I would have liked to have taken photos of, were some of the walls which were covered in beautifully carved wood – all the rage in the mid 1850s – including the only two rooms remaining in the entire US that were designed and carved by Florence masters, and then disassembled, brought to Chateau-sur-Mer, and reassembled.
A little history for you………..Chateau-sur-Mer, its lodge, entrance arch, and greenhouse were built in 1851-1852 by the Newport contractor Seth C. Bradford for William Shepard Wetmore, merchant in the China trade. His son, George Peabody Wetmore, greatly enlarged the house in successive major campaigns in the 1870s and 1880s under Richard Morris Hunt, with interior decoration by Luigi Frullini. Wetmore further developed the outbuildings and grounds. His daughters, Edith and Maude Wetmore, maintained the house in proper style until their deaths. The estate was sold at auction in 1969 to The Preservation Society of Newport County.