Newport History Tours Offers Monthly Specialty Tours

Historic Site Tour Schedule

Newport History Tours (NHT), the joint collaboration between the Newport Historical Society and the Newport Restoration Foundation, is pleased to announce expansion of their popular tour program. For the first time in the collaboration’s history, NHT will offer a one time specialty tour presented by a guest guide on a monthly basis running from April through October. Both organizations also offer tours of their historic properties—the c.1697 Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, the 1739 Colony House and the 1699 Great Friends Meeting House, which begin in April and run through November, and the Whitehorne Museum, which is open May through October.
The line-up for the monthly specialty tours from April through August 2012 is as follows:

Women in Colonial Newport
Saturday April 7, 2012 at 11am
In colonial Newport, women outnumbered the men. Follow a guide in colonial costume through Newport’s Old Quarter as she retraces the lives of the female shopkeepers, tavern owners, teachers and even a printer. Hear how women’s domestic and economic contributions helped shape Newport’s early history.

George Champlin Mason Tour
Saturday May 12, 2012 at 11am
Professor Ronald J. Onorato will highlight the work of George Champlin Mason Jr. and his seminal role in guiding the architectural profession toward the colonial revival style. Often overshadowed by and confused with his father of the same name, the younger Mason was one of the first architects to practice that style in America and later became a leading practitioner of it in Philadelphia. This tour through the Kay-Catherine-Old Beach neighborhood examines several residences, some newly attributed to Mason, where he began focusing on the history and forms of Newport’s colonial heritage in the late 1870’s.

African American History Tour
Saturday June 16, 2012 at 11am
Join Professor Akeia Benart as she explores Newport’s colonial African American history. Visit “God’s Little Acre”, a section of the Common Burying Ground where African Americans were buried, learn about the lives of these individuals—enslaved and free. Visit the residential Point neighborhood, once a bustling seaport filled with shops, distilleries and markets, where many early African Americans lived, worked, and owned property.

Rum & Revolution
Wednesday July 4, 2012 at 11am
Hear stories of taverns, distillers, rum runners and more as we uncover 300 years of drinking in Newport. From the thriving colonial rum trade through the temperance movement and Prohibition era smuggling, learn about the changing role of alcohol in the community.

French in Newport
Saturday August 11, 2012 at 1pm
Explore the heart of 18th century Newport and discuss the yearlong period in which roughly 12,000 French soldiers and sailors cohabited with the 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.

Tours for September through November are being finalized. Tickets for these special tours cost $15 per person, $10 for Newport Historical Society members. Tours depart from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, unless otherwise noted. They last approximately 75 minutes and are weather permitting. Reservations required. For more information call 401-841-8770 or visit

The Newport Historical Society and the Newport Restoration Foundation also have several historic properties that guests can visit. Admission details are as follows:

Public & Private Spaces: Tour the 1739 Colony House, built to house RI government meetings, and the c.1697 Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, Newport’s oldest house museum. Tours begin in April and run through June 16th and in November on Saturdays at 11:30am. Tours will run from June 17th through October 29th on Sundays, Mondays and Fridays at 11:30am. Departs from Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, and costs $12 per person.

Houses of Worship: Tour two of Newport’s earliest houses of workshop, the 1699 Great Friends Meeting House, built for the Society of Friends, and the 1730 Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House. Tours begin June 19th and run through October 30th on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30am. Departs from Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, and costs $12 per person.

Whitehorne Museum: This Federal-period mansion features Doris Duke’s collection of 18th-century furniture. Located at 416 Thames Street, the property is open from May though October on Thursdays through Mondays. Self-guided tours run from 11am till 3pm and cost $6 per person, guided tours are offered at 10:30am and 3pm and cost $12 per person, admission is free for children ages 12 and under.

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