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Hunter House

54 Washington St, Newport, RI 02840-8529
+1 401-847-1000
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Hunter House is one of the finest examples of Georgian Colonial architecture from Newport's "golden age" in the mid-18th century.The north half of Hunter House was constructed between 1748 and 1754 by Jonathon Nichols, Jr., a prosperous merchant and colonial deputy. After his death in 1756, the property was sold to Colonel Joseph Wanton, Jr., who was also a deputy governor of the colony and a merchant. He enlarged the house by adding a south wing and a second chimney, transforming the building into a formal Georgian mansion with a large central hall. Colonel Wanton also ordered the graining, or "spreckling," of the pine paneling in several rooms to resemble walnut and rosewood. During the American Revolution, Colonel Wanton fled from Newport due to his Loyalist sympathies. His house was used as the headquarters of Admiral de Ternay, commander of the French fleet, when French forces occupied Newport in 1780. After the war, Colonel Wanton's house was acquired by William Hunter, a U. S. Senator and President Andrew Jackson's charge d'affaires to Brazil. The Hunters sold the house in the mid-1860s, and it passed through a series of owners until the mid-1940s. Concerned that the fine interiors of the house would be purchased and removed from the building, a small group of concerned citizens led by Mrs. George Henry Warren initiated a preservation effort, purchasing the house in 1945 and forming The Preservation Society of Newport County. The Preservation Society restored Hunter House to the era of Colonel Wanton (1757 to 1779). Today, the house exhibits examples of the finest achievements in the arts and crafts of 18th century Newport. The collections include furniture by the Townsend-Goddard family, premier cabinetmakers of the colonial era who worked in the neighborhood of Hunter House. Newport pewter and paintings by Cosmo Alexander, Gilbert Stuart and Samuel King are also on display. Hunter House is a National Historic Landmark.
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good26%
  • Average2%
  • Poor7%
  • Terrible7%
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Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
54 Washington St, Newport, RI 02840-8529
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1 - 10 of 38 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2017

Hunter House is tucked away on the waterfront in the Point historic district. Easy to get to from the main bus station by foot. Hunter House is pre the Mansions and splendour of the guilded age, but it is a wonderful insight into the lives...More

Thank John C
Reviewed 19 August 2017

My wife and I have visited many of the American historic houses, it's just something we like. This house is spectacular in its authenticity, especially the period furniture. It's not a gilded, showy house - it is a nicely restored house that tells you how...More

Thank Larry C
Reviewed 6 June 2017

While tourist often concentrate on the Gilded Age "cottages" like the Breakers, Marble House, the Elms (all worth your attention as well) be sure not to miss the smaller gems. If you're interested in 18th century architecture/furniture this is the place to go! Compare its...More

2  Thank jim s
Reviewed 6 June 2017 via mobile

One of the older homes that you can tour in Newport. An amazing location, looking out to Goat Island and the newer bridge. The views from the yard are stunning! Great story telling of a Newport home during the ship trading. It's worth a visit...More

Thank James S
Reviewed 27 May 2017 via mobile

Beautiful house. Our guide, Mr Bacon was great. May not be for families with young children. Great collection of Newport furniture.

1  Thank M L
Reviewed 23 May 2017 via mobile

The lady who gave us the tour of Hunter House was awesome! She gave all the history of the house and the furniture she had our children in complete silence and had their attention! This was a great place to kind of relax and listen...More

1  Thank Bridgeporter
Reviewed 12 October 2016

This house is a gem! We loved hearing of its role pre, mid, and post-revolutionary war. Very exciting and intriguing stories, and our tour guide Jason was excellent. The early American furniture collection was extremely impressive and I enjoyed seeing the different time frames represented...More

1  Thank Kgirl00
Reviewed 7 September 2016

This is one of the Newport Georgian Colonial houses. If you like historical sites you will love this one.

Thank Everrob
Reviewed 26 August 2016 via mobile

This is a guided tour only runs every hour so plan carefully. I went because I had the family pass and rest of family wanted to go in pool. It's walking distance from Marriott so thought it was better than sitting at pool. It was...More

1  Thank Michele D
Reviewed 12 August 2016

Our group of four arrived on a rainy morning and we were given a one hour guided tour by a very excellent guide named Jean. The home is named after William Hunter who saved the home from destruction in 1805. The home is prized for...More

Thank Richard S
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