Was the first female lighthouse keeper in American from Newport? Was Newport the site of the first international polo match? Was the first murder trial of a clergyman in the United States held here? Brian Stinson’s 
Newport Firsts: A Hundred Claims to Fame (Charleston, SC,The History Press, 208 pages 2018) is proving to be a popular gift and must-read right now.

The book written by the Newport author and research historian recently hit #5 on Amazon in the nation within the lighthouse photography section and is currently trending in the 6th position.

“It’s just a number, but shows how popular Newport is,” Stinson wrote to What’s Up Newp. 

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Lime Rock Light, once the famous home of keeper Idawalley Zoradia Lewis is featured in an extremely rare photo on the back cover and Rose Island Light is found within. The publicity photo shows the author  rowing a pram in front of Rose Island, however, the book is everything Newport. 

Newport Firsts is a compilation of 75 stories in chronological order, featuring over 100 claims for Newport being “first” in the United States. Accurate, reliable and original research on a wide range of topics – biography, landmarks, religion, sports, military – which took Stinson fifteen years to complete and absolutely no internet sources were used in this publication. 75% of the information is new material on Newport and  same holds true for the 51 images, which are crisp and rare. The city by the sea is exposed like never before in this easy to read, but authoritative work on Newport.

Although the book is seeing success on Amazon and is easily available there, Stinson reminds “everyone to shop locally, and strongly encourages everyone, who lives in the area to do so.”

The book is available in Newport at;


  • Preservation Society of Newport County Museum Store on Bannisters Wharf
  • Spring Street BooksMuseum of Newport History
  • Fort Adams Trust
  • One Stop Building Supply Center
  • Newport Ace Hardware
  • Naval War College Foundation


  • Island Bookstore
  • Barnes & Noble


  • Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association
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