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“Nice place...mean worker!”
Review of Hunter House

Hunter House
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Boston to Newport Mansions by Luxury Rolls Royce...
Ranked #45 of 82 things to do in Newport
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Owner description: 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.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

This place was very interesting. Very knowledgable docents. Lots of info on furniture.
HOWEVER a woman who was working there was extremely rude to a family on my tour with an infant. The infant was sleeping and woke up 1/2 way through the tour. The poor mother was trying to get her things together take the baby out without disrupting her husband and older children, and was scolded and humiliated by the worker! Our tour guide looked embarrassed that she was so harsh with her.

1  Thank TheBackyardTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"period furniture"
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"preservation society"
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"fine examples"
in 2 reviews
"tour guide"
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"newport mansions"
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"worth a visit"
in 2 reviews
"gilded age"
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34 - 38 of 41 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2013

The tour was very boring and too expensive ($28 per person). There is actually nothing interesting to see there. It is a dark house with old items (all not original). Some of the furniture is in bad condition. Go somewhere else in Newport.

3  Thank 649,001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. There was none of the crowding and pushing found at the mansions. We had a tour guide who knew his information thoroughly. The interaction with a tour guide was much preferred over a head-set and recorded tour. While the opulence of the mansion-life is of some interest, the history told through the Hunter House is by far more fascinating. We learned more in the hour we spent in this modest home than we learned in the giant Breakers mansion. My husband loves the furniture of the Goddard/Townsend families. He was able to learn more about them and their place in Newport than he would have from his books. The tour guide answered numerous questions and brought-up many things we would not have thought about on our own. Mixing his information with what we came in knowing gave us a stronger picture of American history and supplemented our growing knowledge of American antiques.

1  Thank Anne K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We have toured the mansions of Newport before, but this house is a livable hpuse with a wonderful collection inside. You must have a guide and the tour is about one hour. We learned a lot!

1  Thank laksa23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 9, 2013

This 1754 Georgian Colonial House is a pearl in the crown of Newport's architecture & history. In my opinion, this house far surpasses the mansions to be seen on Bellevue Avenue in Newport due to its historical significance and furnishings. Hunter House has been meticulously restored and stocked with some of the finest pieces of Townsend-Goddard furniture as well as paintings by Gilbert Stewart, Cosmo Alexander and Samuel King. The guided tour includes both floors of the house and approximately eight to ten colonial period rooms can be viewed. The docent we had was extremely knowledgeable regarding the history of the house as well as its furnishings. Please make sure to spend some time in the lovely garden in the rear of the house which faces Narragansett Bay.

Best option to purchase the tour if you are a couple or a family, is to purchase a membership as individual tickets for adults are $28.00 each. Couple and family memberships for all Preservation Society of Newport County properties and mansions are $75 (2 adult couple, no kids) and $90 (2 Adult couple and all children under 17).

You can find some exterior shots of Hunter House at this link (not my photos):

1  Thank eminker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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