One of the most original and elegant Newport RI lodging, Captain Simeon Potter House, circa 1723, is an Award Winning historic renovation; the home was a featured recipient of the 2004 Newport Preservation Award. Located on the water in the oldest section of Newport “the Point” this lovely Newport Rhode Island bed and breakfast enjoys premium views of the Bay and the evening sunsets; one can relax with the wafting of the gentle, summer breeze in the color and song of the garden.
The "Point" has a collection of more than 350 beautifully restored historic homes. "Post and Beam" and mortise and tenon were the methods of Colonial construction during the 17th, 18th, and mid-19th centuries. The post and beam cage/skeleton was covered with vertical 1" plank sheathing and finished with hand hewn clapboards. Newport was a major ship-building center and, quite naturally, the clapboards have a shiplap slice overlapping the clapboards.
Captain Simeon Potter House, ca. 1723 (early 20th century photo)
The "Point" is the oldest section of Newport and it is designated a National Historic Landmark District. The Captain Simeon Potter House is located on the "Point" and registered on the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In early 2002 restoration work started on these circa 1723 Newport RI accommodations. In December 2004 it was completed, and in the same year the project received the Historic Preservation Award for outstanding restoration.
It was in 1945, through the remarkable efforts and foresight of a small group of preservationists, the Preservation Society of Newport County (www.newportmansions.org
), Operation Clapboard and the Newport Historical Society (www.NewportHistorical.org
) that saved the remaining clapboard houses from the wrecking ball.
Rhode Island was the first of the 13 Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown. In June 1772 eight rowboats, under the cover of dark. attacked and burned the British ship HMS Gaspee. The notable connection between that attack and the Captain Simeon Potter House is that Captain Simeon Potter was in the attack on the Gaspee. Potter, one of the wealthiest people in Bristol and Newport, had several vessels that brought goods into Newport; the Gaspee was a British ship that chased the Colonists' boats to collect taxes that the colonists objected to; they referred to them as the Intolerable Acts.
The Gaspee Affair essentially started the American Revolution. From 1776-1779, during the British Occupation, half of Newport's population fled. Not only did the British do irreparable damage to the maritime trade, but in addition, they burned half of the clapboard houses as firewood to keep warm during the severe winters.