125. The Heiress Tour | Welcome to Newport! From Utopian Colonial Experiment to Pre-Gilded Age Hotel Hotspot

We are dipping into a different avenue on our Heiress Tour in the next few episodes. Welcome to Newport! It’s been waiting for you.

I am thrilled to begin this next Heiress arc introducing the history of this Rhode Island playground of the Gilded Age, long before the Gilded Age begins. Newport begins as a 17th century colonial experiment embracing religious freedom, and by the middle of the 1800’s is a flourishing seaside vacation village for the wealthy, coming in droves to exclusive luxury hotels for a summer escape.

This is Newport from the 1500s to the 1870s – let’s set the scene for the most exclusive and expensive of Heiress playgrounds in the Gilded Age.

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Kings, Queens, Knaves, and Jokers in Newport’s High Society During the Gilded Age. (warwickhistory.com)

A History of Bellevue Avenue in Pictures (YouTube link)

The Newport Mansions: as seen on the HBO drama ‘The Gilded Age’ (YouTube link)

Colonial Newport: An American Experiment (YouTube link)

The Bellevue House, which opened in 1828, was one of Newport’s first grand hotels, providing an unprecedented level of hospita (newporthistory.org)

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