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Newport History Tours, a partnership between the Newport Restoration Foundation and Newport Historical Society, announces the opening of the 2017 season with a new tour schedule. Visitors interested in the “City by the Sea,” can explore its history on foot with Newport History Tours’ personable guides.

The 2017 schedule launches in April, with tours offered Friday through Monday; beginning in June and running through October, tours are offered daily. Monthly specialty tours include the Tour of the Month, available on the third Saturday of the month at 11 a.m.

2017 Newport History Tours

Newport History Tours provides regularly offered tours for visitors to explore Newport’s historic downtown on foot.

  • Discover Colonial Newport – Stories of remarkable entrepreneurship and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period.
  • Golden to Gilded – Newport’s colonial Golden Age evolves into the Gilded Age summer colony; discover the transformation of the city and its people.
  • Road to Independence – Learn about Newport’s role in the American Revolution.
  • Rogues & Scoundrels – See where scoundrels lived, pirates profited and criminals were punished. Find out why this colony was known as “Rogue’s Island.”

The 2017 Tours of the Month

Explore Newport’s history in greater depth during the Tour of the Month, which takes place on the third Saturday of the month at 11am. These tours feature specialty topics led by a guest guide. The 2017 schedule includes:

April 15 – Creative Survival: 18th & 19th Century African Community in Newport

Discover the early history of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free. This tour looks at the places where slaves lived and labored, along with locations where free blacks built their enterprises and supported a new local industry. It concludes in the country’s oldest intact African-American graveyard, “God’s Little Acre.”

May 20 – Road to Independence and the Colony House

Riots and rebellions, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s role in the American Revolution. Visit the Colony House, built in 1739, for RI’s colonial government this historic building was the site of many important events. View a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington.

May 27 – Colonial Stone Carvers Walking Tour

The Common Burying Ground features a rich historic record of the lives of Newporters. It also showcases beautiful colonial craftsmanship worthy of a museum. This tour will focus on the art and the carvers. Stones from the Stevens shop are at the heart of the tour but other prominent carvers’ work will be included.

June 17 – Creative Survival: 18th & 19th Century African Community in Newport

Discover the early history of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free. This tour looks at the places where slaves lived and labored, along with locations where free blacks built their enterprises and supported a new local industry. It concludes in the country’s oldest intact African-American graveyard, “God’s Little Acre.”

July 15 – Newport’s Native History

Aquidneck Island’s history as a summer resort begins long before the Gilded Age. As archaeological deposits confirm, for hundreds of years prior to contact with Europeans, groups of Native Americans came to Newport to enjoy the fruits of the sea in the summertime. In fact, the first streets of Newport actually began as Native American paths and Spring Street itself gets its name from a freshwater spring that had been used by the local indigenous peoples for centuries. Come learn about the Native American archaeology literally right under your feet!

August 19 – Spring Forth: A Walking Tour of Newport’s Colonial Origins

Explore the earliest colonial foundations of Newport’s urban planning and streetscapes. Beginning with the original settlements near Spring Street, the tour winds its way through the Historic Hill to Touro Park, investigating land use patterns and centuries of changing urban geography. Join John Tschirch for this fascinating exploration of long ago Newport.

September 16 – Estate Gardeners on Newport

The well-manicured lawns and carefully cultivated gardens of Newport’s Gilded Age estates were as important as the famous “cottages”. Maintaining them was a herculean effort. Join Frank Amaral, Newport Restoration Foundation Head Landscaper, and Harry Eudenbach, historian and author of Estate Gardeners of Newport on a walking tour that explores the stories of the gardeners, both past and present, who have worked at many of Newport’s finest homes.

October 21 – Common Burying Ground

Explore the Common Burying Ground. Learn about the stone carvers, their art and the diverse people buried there who helped shape Newport’s history

November 18 – Bricks, Sticks and the Vernon House

Discover Newport’s exquisitely preserved architecture, from colonial era to Victorian splendor. This tour stops inside the Vernon House, one of the most lavish buildings in colonial Newport. Explore the architecture and craftsmanship of this Georgian home including its remarkable Chinoiserie parlor panels which are believed to be unique in colonial America.

Additional DetailsTours cost $15 per person ($20 for the Tour of the Month); $10 for Newport Historical Society members, active and retired military with ID ($15 for the Tour of the Month). Purchase tickets and depart from the Brick Market: Museum & Shop, 127 Thames Street, Newport. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 401.841.8770.  Visit www.NewportHistoryTours.org for more information on specific times and tours. 

About Newport History Tours:

Newport History Tours is the joint collaboration between the Newport Historical Society and the Newport Restoration Foundation, celebrating eleven years of partnership. NHT, which received a Yankee Magazine Best of Award, offers the most comprehensive line-up of walking tours that explores Newport’s early history and is extensively researched for historical accuracy. Proceeds from the tours support both non-profit organization.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.