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“Oldest Preservation Society Mansion -Much History”
Review of Hunter House

Hunter House
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$780.00*
and up
Private Day Trip From Boston to the Newport Mansions
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$3,000.00*
and up
Day Trip From Boston to the Newport Mansions in Luxury Rolls Royce Ghost
Ranked #53 of 117 things to do in Newport
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Attraction details
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 October 1, 2013

Probably the smallest of the mansions. If you are looking for glitz and opulence do not go to this mansion. If you like Newport and Area American History, pre-revolutionary war into the 1800's, this house is a must see for the Newport area.
Cost: $28 But if you plan to visit several to many mansions with another member of your family, I advise getting an annual membership for $75 (at the time of this review), which allows 2 people from the same family to go on many of the Mansion tours (even repeats) for 1 year. For us this was a superior value.
Although little of the original furnishings remain, this house is filled with history from maps, furniture, styles, occupation and family history. this house entertained the British during their occupation of Newport. It served as the center of the French Forces when they allied with the Colonies during the Revolution (read the plaque on the outside of the house).
We went to this house on Sept 30th, there were 3 people on the tour - Jason, our tour guide, proved to be very knowledgeable about every aspect of the house, from owners to history, to uses of the house.
Tour lasts ~50 minutes, I could have spent that looking at the old maps that were on the walls.

2  Thank Wayne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (37)
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28 - 32 of 37 reviews

Reviewed September 27, 2013

Anyone who is interested in the history of Colonial period furniture and furnishings will definitely enjoy this tour. Make sure you check the times the tour is listed before arriving. I inquired as to why this tour is more expensive than all the other mansions and was informed that since it is such a delicate house, they are unable to accommodate large groups of people.

Thank Cheryl L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.

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