Captain Freeman Inn
Rainy day things to do on Cape Cod 31 Aug 2014, 10:00 am
by Donna Cain
Thankfully, we have plenty of sunshine on Cape Cod. Occasionally when bad weather comes, guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn will ask us for things to do during their stay. I have always loved a rainy day as I know all of our trees, plants and flowers will be watered to a level that’s hard to do with a hose. It also feels like the perfect opportunity to cuddle up with a good book. For those guests that want to venture out we always have plenty of umbrellas and suggestions of where to go. Listed below are some of our favorites:
1. Day trip to Sandwich village- where you can enjoy a high tea experience or British/European meal at the Dunbar Tea House and afterwards visit the Heritage Gardens and Museum. Heritage gardens is a wonderful collections of things to do both inside and outside. The gardens are filled with acres and acres of many different kinds flowers but their specialty is rhodedendrums. The museum has a year round automobile exhibit along with many interesting visiting exhibits. Last year there was a wonderful Norman Rockwell exhibit showing many of his works along with pictures of his favorite cars he used in his historic paintings. There is something for both the young and old to enjoy at this wonderful attraction in Sandwich. The Dunbar tea house is just up the street and what could be better then enjoying a wonderful cup of tea with a homemade scone and tea sandwich on a rainy day?
2. Natural History Museum in Brewster This museum is just up the street from the Captain Freeman Inn and what a treasure we have close by. The picture above is the John Wing trail which takes you over a boardwalk where you can see the osprey nest and onto Wing Island. It’s just a short walk through the wooded area until you have magnificent views of the bay, one of our favorite spots on Cape Cod! Inside the museum you’ll find wonderful exhibits along with detailed information about the natural history of Cape Cod.
Rhode Island is just a short day trip from Cape Cod
(about a two hour drive) Newport is known for it’s yacht club and
mansions built in the early 1900′s. Our favorite mansion is the
Elms but they are all worthy of a visit and are filled with many
historical tidbits about the Vanderbilt families that lived there
in the early 1900′s when there was no taxes and they had to find
ways to spend all of their money:)
4. Our favorite thing in life is to go for a nice long beach walk with our dog Harrison. Even a rainy day walk on the beach can be magical. Brewster is know for our tidal flats where the water goes out for miles on a 6 hour cycle so depending on the time you visit you can walk out to the middle of the bay and see wonderful sea life at it’s best, including oyster farms on the flats.
5. Wine tasting at the Truro Vineyards with a stop at Atlantic Spice Company and PB Boulangerie. The Truro Vineyard has new owners, and they are making this a wonderful experience both for wine lovers and those that just want a fun afternoon. They have pioneered the art of maritime grape growing on the Cape. They are about 1/2 a mile from the ocean and the bay on either side, nestled in the hills of Truro on Rt. 6A and also have a distillery, South Hollow Spirits, producing Twenty Boat Spiced Rum from organic molasses and cane sugar juice steeped in spices sourced from Atlantic Spice Company in Truro. Their new food truck, Crushpad is open daily in the summer and is run by Blackfish Restaurant. Just across the street is Atlantic Spice Company. It’s a wonderful resource for kitchen gadgets and spices, all at a tremendous savings. Another great hot spot close by is PB Boulangerie which is part bakery, part bistro, and is known for their classic pastries & hearty French fare.
6. Shopping in Chatham- for those die hard shoppers Chatham is the place to go. Filled with many high end shops and galleries along with some fun resale shops (I have heard from guests a wonderful spot to find good values and high end resale clothing). We love to stop at Vers, a fairly new small French restaurant that has creative fare.
7.The New Bedford Whaling Museum is located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is about an hour and a half drive from the inn. The museum, through its collections and exhibitions, tells the story of the international whaling industry.The Museum also houses an extensive collection of fine art, including works by major American artists who lived or worked in the New Bedford area, such as Albert Bierstadt, William Bradford, and Albert Pinkham Ryder, as well as significant collections of locally produced art, glass, furniture, and other decorative arts that flourished as a result of the wealth that whaling brought to New Bedford in the 19th century.
The whale ship Lagoda, the world’s largest ship model, is housed at the central core of the museum and is fully rigged and outfitted for an extended whaling voyage. The Whaling Museum complex includes 20 exhibit galleries housed within several contiguous historic buildings occupying an entire city block within New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. It’s worthy of a full day trip to learn all of the history of whaling in this area.
8. Enjoy an old fashion game such as scrabble or Monopoly. We have an old fashion trunk filled with many games for you to choose from during your stay. Yesterday I played Scrabble with our son Nathan and had a ball!
9. The Brewster Ladies Library is just down the street from the inn. This is a gem of a library and has something for everyone year around…Author talks and book presentations, musical performances, book clubs, book reviews plus a super friendly and knowledgeable staff that’s very helpful. A great place to spend a rainy day!
Pin Bowling and barbecue in Orleans
David Currier had a dream. The Cape Cod native “born and raised on the ‘east side’” of Orleans, has talked about owning a restaurant for a long time. “When I was 10 years old I joked about opening a place called Big Bub’s Hung-over Pub with my uncle! My family has owned this building (the Orleans Bowling Center) since the ‘70s and had shares in it long before that. I grew up in a candlepin family,” he laughs. “Bowling was cool back then. People have made memories here over the years in the Orleans Bowling Center. All across the country candle-pin alleys are closing, and here we are bringing it back! After three and a half years negotiating with the town, we finally opened. Since March 2014, people are making new memories here over fried green tomatoes (with a creamy maple chipotle sauce) and racks of ribs, while bowling a frame or two with a pitcher of beer. “We traveled around and tried BBQ everywhere we went,” said Currier’s partner Brook Carlson. “We wanted to be different. Pizza, tapas and such are everywhere. Everything on our menu is made in-house, the three different BBQ sauces, the dry rubs and more.
Really fun and a great place to enjoy barbecue with old fashion bowling!
11. Take a ride on the Cape Cod Railroad- What a great experience to meander on a train. Picturesque views of the Cape along with a meal if you decide to partake. Also have some fun holiday specials.
12. Explore all of the 15 remaining lighthouses on Cape Cod. We once had a guest stay with us that was determined to visit and get pictures of all 15 lighthouses. It was so much fun hearing about their adventures each day.
13. Visit the
Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor’s Center- This is a
wonderful free resource that we recommend to our guests visit no
matter what the weather. Salt Pond Visitor Center is Cape Cod
National Seashore’s main visitor facility, with frequent
orientation movies, a well stocked bookstore, a comprehensive
museum, and restroom facilities. The indoor theatre routinely
offers 5 short films daily on a rotating schedule. Offering
breathtaking views of Nauset Marsh and the Atlantic beyond, this
Visitor Center is also convenient to the popular 1.5 mile Nauset
Marsh Trail and the Buttonbush Trail, a .25 mile multi-sensory
trail that featuring a guide rope and text panels printed in large
lettering and Braille, and the Nauset Bicycle Trail.
14. Enjoy a tour of Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory and the Cape Cod Beer facilty. Cape Cod potato chips have become very popular and now distributed across the US. I recently had a guest tell me that Cape Cod Beer is one of the best beers he’s had in a long time- I took that as a compliment to Cape Cod Beer after he gave me a very detailed reason why….he really knew his beers!
15. Byron and I love book stores and have fond memories of our date nights in Houston where we would get a coffee at Starbucks and spend the evening in Barnes and Noble We were thrilled when we moved here to find Parnasis Book store in Yarmouthport. It’s filled with a collection of used and new books along with some rare collectables. Our Brewster Book Store is a local gem and filled with collection of Cape Cod books, an extensive children’s section, and a wide selection of hardcover and paperback books for readers of all tastes and ages.
17. Last but not least see an artsy movie at Cape Cod Cinema- The movie house is within the complex of Cape Cod Art Museum and is in a old historic movie building. You feel like you are back in the 50″s – a wonderful experience and the movies shown are usually historic or artsy and not the regular violent movies shown in the regular movie houses. We always enjoy! Oh and right next door is one of our favorite Fish Houses- Fin. Plan a great meal with a good movie after.
Ahhhhh, Exhaling on Cape Cod and loving every minute of our time here
Cooking fresh, local and fun 27 Aug 2014, 7:41 am
By Chef Carol Edmondson – Cape Cod Culinary
This cooking school season is shaping up to be an exploration of fresh local ingredients with a warm and inviting sensibility. What could be more warm and inviting than homemade breads, soups and stews from around the Mediterranean. We begin in November with simple but classic French bread and two of my favorite soups; French Onion Gratinee and just harvested Winter Squash Bique with French sausage. As always I’ll be scouring the fields and farmers markets for local ingredients that are at their best in the Fall and posting pictures of ingredient finds that inspire our recipes. Menus are coming together and with Heathers expert wine choices, Voila! Looking forward to meeting another great group of Captain Freeman guests and seeing old friends who return for a weekend treat.
Take a peek at the schedule http://www.captainfreemaninn.com/cooking-school/
“Wine”ding down at the Captain Freeman Inn 19 Aug 2014, 7:37 pm
by Heather Puffer
Even though the summer is “wine”ding down, I’m really looking forward to the fall. Starting with the November 8 class on Paris (Oui!), I’ll be the wine gal at Captain Freeman Inn! I’ll be pairing wines to complement the cuisine guests will whip up with Chef Carol during the 2014/2015 Captain Freeman Inn Cooking School. These classes are the perfect way to enjoy the Cape during the quiet season and pick up some great tips, tricks and recipes to take back to your kitchen. For the Paris class, I can almost hear the accordion music playing, enjoying a crusty baguette, a steamy bowl of French Onion Soup and creamy Butternut Squash Bisque paired with a glass of Burgundy. Here on the blog, I’ll be sharing what’s in my fridge and good finds to drink now, as well as favorite wines, unlikely food pairings and maybe even some Q&A if you are so inclined to reach out with questions or comments (yes, please…I’d love that!)
This summer has brought lots of warm, sunny days, perfect for the beach, barbecues, boat rides and being outside. My go-to white wine for this weather is Broadbent Vinho Verde (non-vintage). Vinho Verde translates to “green wine” and means to be enjoyed young. It comes from Portugal and is a blend of the Loureiro, Trajadura and Pedernã grapes. It’s light and crisp, low alcohol, with flavors of citrus, peach, and melon and a touch of spritz. I snuck this wine onto the beach to share with friends, and feel it’s also perfect as an aperitif or paired with a light dinner of fish, chicken and vegetables. Another reason to give this wine a shot? It retails for around just $10.
Rose wine is made for summer days like we’ve had lately. The blush color, the fresh taste. I feel like I’m in a scene from a cooking magazine whenever I have a glass of rose in hand, it’s that quintessential. My favorite lately is Chateau La Moutete Grande Reserve Rose (2013), which hails from the Cotes de Provence. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault, this wine expresses flavors of ripe strawberry, peach and some candied lemon rind, this wine is refreshing and elegant, but not sweet and retails for around $15. Cotes de Provence roses are rather easy to find at many local shops so I hope you’ll decide to give one a try during these precious remaining days of summer. I’ve paired it with mussels, lemon herb grilled chicken and imagine it would be amazing with the Bouillabaisse that we’ll be cooking up during the February 21 class on Provence!
While Labor Day tends to trigger us all into fall mode, September is a gorgeous month to savor your whites and roses since pumpkin bread and beef stew season is just around the corner. Try these wines out and please let me know what you have been enjoying this summer too! There is still time to find a new favorite!
Heather Puffer is a marketing professional located in the greater Boston area with a passion for food, wine and travel. She holds intermediate and advanced certificates from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London and is currently enrolled in the Diploma program. Favorite places to be: in the kitchen, on the Cape in the summer, skiing in the winter, on a bike (preferably in Italy) or finding a restaurant with an interesting wine list and cuisine to match!
The sounds of Cape Cod 9 Aug 2014, 9:56 am
by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner
Many a song has been written about Cape Cod with my all time favorite- Patti Page’s “Old Cape Cod”. Her words from that song often speak to me …..”You’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod”
Every summer it’s such a pleasure to see all of the wonderful talent that comes to Cape Cod. Some are legends that are winding down their careers and enjoy playing at our Melody Tent in Hyannis, others are young actors or musicians who may or may not hit it big.
1. We love to pack a picnic dinner and listen to old time band music in the Drummer Boy Park. The Brewster Band is all volunteer and they play every Sunday night at 6pm.
2. The premiere music venue is the Melody Tent in Hyannis. The tented theater has 2,250 seats and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. August’s schedule is full of wonderful talent including Gregg Allman, Abba, Little Big Town, Boyz II Men and my child hood favorite, comedian Bill Cosby.
3. If your looking for casual entertainment with a beautiful ocean view, nothing beats the Beachcomber in Wellfeet.
4.The Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival has become very popular on Cape Cod offering nearly a month (July 27- August 22) of classical and contemporary chamber music. They perform 13 performances in 7 different Cape Cod towns. Performers include young musicians in school as well as established groups like the Emerson String quartet.
5. The 25th Anniversary Cape Cod Five Pops in the Park concert will be playing this year by the Cape Cod Symphony in Orleans.
6. The Provincetown Jazz Festival cannot be contained to one town. This year the festival begins in P’Town on August 16th with Kathy Kosins, Dane Vannatter and Cape Cod Jazz Quintet. Later in Cotuit on August 18th you can enjoy Rebecca Parris, Shawnn Monteiro and Avery Sharpe.
Exhaling on Cape Cod and enjoying all the sounds of summer, including all of the chirping birds at the Captain Freeman Inn.
How does your garden grow Captain Freeman? 7 Aug 2014, 2:54 pm
by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner
We have been caretakers of this beautiful property for 4 years now, and I often wonder what Captain Freeman would think of all that we’ve done. He took tremendous pride when he built this property in 1866 and it has been a joy to lovingly restore as many of the original details as possible.
I love to garden and every spring my husband and I talk about what this years projects are going to be. This year we wanted to make a splash of color in the front gardens. We have beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful petunias grown by Crocker Nursury in Brewster. They are large and full of color. After talking to Ann Marie at Crocker we decided to add more petunias in bright pinks and purples in the front gardens. Petunas really are a great annual as they are hearty and bloom all summer long.
Our innkeeper Ivana also painted our old bike to add a fun twist to our front decor:) The basket is full of Cleomes, which add a nice bit of color for our Cape Cod bed and breakfast.
We have enjoyed several Butterfly bushes around the inn. They are very fragrant and attract both butterflies and hummingbirds.
We are very proud of our raspberry patch in our back yard. We built the patch 2 years ago from a model created by Martha Stewart. It was practical in that there is a gravel walk way in the middle and the beds are raised which keeps out the weeks. There are two strands of wire across each side which supports the long stems. This July we had a fabulous crop of raspberries, and I made many dozens of jars of jam for our guests to enjoy.
The patch holds a special place in my heart as the plants were off spring of the original raspberry patch my mother had back in the Berkshires. There are also several bird feeders on the posts that were built by my Uncle Al many years ago.
Exhaling on Cape Cod and loving our gardens at the Captain Freeman Inn.
Pan Mass Challenge comes through Brewster, Cape Cod 3 Aug 2014, 6:05 am
by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner
I just walked over to our wonderful Brewster General Store to get a picture of the cyclists ridding by for the 2014 PMC. As I was walking past the many spectators cheering on the riders, I had that feel good feeling in my stomach. Everyone was screaming thank you to the riders and the riders were giving everyone the high 5. After reading the history on-line of the pan mass I was even more impressed with the cause. Some of our guest staying at the Captain Freeman had friends or family doing the race and wanted to be close by for moral support of the challenge.
“Established by Billy Starr in 1980 and under his direction, the PMC has grown considerably and consistently from its modest beginnings into an event that draws 5,500 cyclists from 36 states and eight countries. Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. The PMC generates half of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. Over the past 34 years, PMC cyclists have ridden to raise and contribute $414 million to cancer research.” as quoted from the Pan Mass Challenge Web Site
Wishing all of the cyclists a safe journey as they cycle across our wonderful peninsula, Cape Cod!
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Black Beauty Cupcake Recipe at the Captain Freeman Inn 29 Jul 2014, 10:58 am
by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner
Our guest staying at the Captain Freeman Inn always look forward to our afternoon treat. Sunday’s was extra special, and I decided to share the recipe with our followers. It’s a decadent chocolate cupcake that we like to prepare in the smaller cupcake tins so that it is a perfect 2 bite chocolate delight! Our chef Nick made them with a light ganache chocolate frosting that was perfect.
Black Beauty Cupcakes- yields 16 cupcakes
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 ounces of your favorite chocolate
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch)
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 350
In medium size stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until blended
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler
Once the chocolate is cool, add to the sugar mixture
Mix in the eggs and yolks one at a time, just until blended
Mix in oil, vanilla and sour cream until blended.
Sift together dry ingredients and add to the liquid mixture in three intervals, mixing until just combined
Mix in water until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
Check for doneness in 18 minutes- a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake should come out clean. If they are not done, check every 3 minutes until they are done. Immediately remove cupcakes form the tins and let cool. They are delicious warm but we usually cool and add a light chocolate ganache frosting.
Thanks Nick for finding such a great recipe and Bon appetit to all of our guests, especially the ones that like chocolate like we do:)
The post Black Beauty Cupcake Recipe at the Captain Freeman Inn appeared first on Captain Freeman Inn.
Biking on Cape Cod takes a new twist 26 Jul 2014, 1:33 pm
by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner
We have a wonderful summer innkeeper, Ivana. She is here on a J-1 Visa from Serbia and is working on her master’s degree in hotel management. She is always filled with good ideas, and we love having her input into our daily operations and knowing that we have an employee that truly cares about our guest’s experience at the Captain Freeman Inn.
The other day Ivana mentioned that she would love to paint the old Schwinn bike that we found in our basement. It was rusted and not rideable but for some reason we just couldn’t part with it. We decided to put it out front next to the flag pole and added some lights to the wheels. Ivana saw a similar picture to the above on the internet and wanted to give the bike a facelift. We were elated! Now we just have to adjust the lighting so it shines at night on the flag and the fancy white bike.
She found a basket in the basement, added some shells with plenty of white paint……and voilla we have a beautiful new landmark in the front of our inn. How perfect since many of our guests come to Cape Cod for summer fun and Cape Cod biking. We have the wonderful Cape Cod rail trail just up the street which is a perfect way to see and enjoy Cape Cod while being healthy.
Thanks Ivana for all of your creativity and hard work.
Kettle Pond Swimming on Cape Cod 6 Jul 2014, 2:55 pm
by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner
Everyone thinks of beaches when they come to Cape Cod for their summer fun. Most are drawn to the National Seashore beaches where one can see the crashing waves from the Atlantic, or on the Bay side with our breathtaking sunsets. But for Zen like swimming in little seas of tranquillity, Cape Cod also has many beautiful kettle ponds.
Today we had a beautiful walk in Nickerson State Park. Since we can’t take our dog Harrison swimming on the bay beaches we are always looking for new places to let him swim during the summer. Nickerson is a beautiful park which has wonderful biking and walking paths.
Kettle ponds have an interesting geology on Cape Cod as they
were formed more than 15,000 years ago, when blocks of glacier ice
melted, leaving massive holes, called kettles, that filled with
These kettle ponds are sprinkled around Cape Cod and are great places to have a summer swim. Harrison can attest to how wonderful they are….
We love to hike around Nickerson. It’s such a beautiful park with many hidden areas.
For afternoon relaxation many of our guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn also enjoying relaxing by our lovely pool. It is flanked by beautiful gardens and singing birds.
Exhaling on Cape Cod and feeling very blessed!
Day Trip #1 from our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast 5 Jul 2014, 2:44 pm
By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner
Cape Cod is such a magical area, and we always have many suggestions when our guests ask what they should do during their stay at the Captain Freeman Inn. For those guests that are lucky enough to have planned a long stay, we have 5 great suggestions for memorable day trips off Cape Cod. Many are just a few hours away and make for a perfect days adventure during your stay with us.
Day Trip #1- Newport, Rhode Island ( 2 hours )
I think our all time favorite day trip recommendation is Newport. For those history buffs like myself, the area is full of history which includes touring many of the summer cottages of the Gilded Age Summer Elite. It’s ironic that they called them cottages as they are grand, extravagant and large, to say the least, and all of the tours include fun stories about the families. Listed below is some of our favorites:
This summer cottage was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the coal industry. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d’Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris.
Construction of The Elms was completed in 1901 at a cost reported at approximately $1.4 million. The interiors and furnishings were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris and were the setting for the Berwinds’ collection of Renaissance ceramics, 18th century French and Venetian paintings, and Oriental jades.
The elaborate Classical Revival gardens on the grounds were developed between 1907 and 1914. They includeThe Elms dining room terraces displaying marble and bronze sculpture, a park of fine specimen trees and a lavish lower garden featuring marble pavilions, fountains, a sunken garden and carriage house and garage. These gardens were recently restored.
Mrs. Berwind died in 1922, and Mr. Berwind invited his sister, Julia, to become his hostess at his New York and Newport houses. Mr. Berwind died in 1936 and Miss Julia continued to summer at The Elms until her death in 1961, at which time the house and most of its contents were sold at public auction. The Preservation Society of Newport County purchased The Elms in 1962 and opened the house to the public. In 1996, The Elms was designated a National Historic Landmark.
The Breakers is the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages” and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America.
Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century.
The Commodore’s grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport during that same year. In 1893, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire the previous year. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Allard and Sons of Paris assisted Hunt with furnishings and fixtures, Austro-American sculptor Karl Bitter designed relief sculpture, and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.
The Vanderbilts had seven children. Their youngest daughter, Gladys, who married Count Laszlo Szechenyi of Hungary, inherited the house on her mother’s death in 1934. An ardent supporter of The Preservation Society of Newport County, she opened The Breakers in 1948 to raise funds for the Society. In 1972, the Preservation Society purchased the house from her heirs. Today, the house is designated a National Historic Landmark.
The Marble House
Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. It was a summer house, or “cottage”, as Newporters called them in remembrance of the modest houses of the early 19th century. But Marble House was much more; it was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport’s subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces.
Mr. Vanderbilt was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who established the family’s fortune in steamships and the New York Central Railroad. His older brother was Cornelius II, who built The Breakers. Alva Vanderbilt was a leading hostess in Newport society, and envisioned Marble House as her “temple to the arts” in America.
The house was designed by the architect Richard Morris Hunt, inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The cost of the house was reported in contemporary press accounts to be $11 million, of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Upon its completion, Mr. Vanderbilt gave the house to his wife as a 39th birthday present.
The Gold SalonThe Vanderbilts had 3 children: Consuelo, who became the 9th Duchess of Marlborough; William K., Jr., a prominent figure in pioneering the sport of auto racing in America; and Harold, one of the finest yachtsmen of his era who successfully defended the America’s Cup three times.
The Vanderbilts divorced in 1895 and Alva married Oliver H.P. Belmont, moving down the street to Belcourt. After his death, she reopened Marble House, and had a Chinese Tea House built on the seaside cliffs, where she hosted rallies for women’s right to vote. She sold the house to Frederick H. Prince in 1932. The Preservation Society acquired the house in 1963 from the Prince estate. In 2006, Marble House was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles. After the house was completed in 1902, at a reported cost of $2.5 million, Mrs. Oelrichs hosted fabulous entertainments here, including a fairy tale dinner and a party featuring famed magician Harry Houdini.
“Tessie”, as she was known to her friends, was born in Virginia City, Nevada. Her father, JamesRosecliff salon Graham Fair, was an Irish immigrant who made an enormous fortune from Nevada’s Comstock silver lode, one of the richest silver finds in history. During a summer in Newport, Theresa met Hermann Oelrichs playing tennis at the Newport Casino. They were married in 1890. A year later, they purchased the property known as Rosecliff from the estate of historian and diplomat George Bancroft. An amateur horticulturist, it was Bancroft who developed the American Beauty Rose. The Oelrichs later bought additional property along Bellevue Avenue and commissioned Stanford White to replace the original house with the mansion that became the setting for many of Newport’s most lavish parties.
Rosecliff is now preserved through the generosity of its last private owners, Mr. and Mrs. J. Edgar Monroe, of New Orleans. They gave the house, its furnishings, and an endowment to the Preservation Society in 1971.
Step into the life of heiress and art collector Doris Duke at her oceanfront Newport mansion. Immerse yourself in the fine art, furnishings and antiques she spent a lifetime collecting.
Doris Duke was an individual whose sense of style represented her personality and creativity. She was a confident woman who enjoyed fashion and tried new trends, but made her own rules of style. She dressed in outfits that fit with her diverse interests and lifestyle and did not always fit the standard rules of dressing. Overall, Miss Duke was a lover of quality clothing and enjoyed the pleasures of fashion that made her stand out as the confident and beautiful woman she was.There is a new exhibit at the mansion : The Personal Style of Doris Duke which examines a portion of Doris Duke’s clothing collection ranging from lavish evening gowns with exquisite embroidery to the simple silhouette of a little black dress.
(Information and pictures concerning the mansions shown above were collected from the Preservation Society of Newport‘s web site.)
For dining during your day trip to decide which mansion you would like to buy:) we like to recommend the Black Pearl which is located on the wharf with beautiful water views. Food is always good and they serve lunch and dinner.
Day Trip #2-5 to follow on separate blogs.
Exhaling on Cape Cod and loving our life as innkeepers and being able to share this wonderful little peninsula that we call home.