Newport Mansions? Check. Aldrich Mansion? That's would be a big, fat check. (Pre-Angelina Jolie, and even Jen Aniston, Brad Pitt, along with Sir Anthony Hopkins, filmed Meet Joe Black there back in the late 1990's.) Clouds Hill? Yeahhh, I thought so...now, let me explain.
As a native RI'er, this is one of those places I'm pretty shocked (or shook as the kids are calling it these days) to have had no idea even existed. Crazy, right? Because I've probably driven by it hundreds, if not thousands, of times. (SMH) Anywho, technically, it's located in Warwick, just before the EG line and Main St, set way back from the road and high on a hill. Built in 1887, designed by some famous at that time dudes responsible for a bunch of other high profile structures in and around the OS, and as the story goes, as a wedding gift for Elizabeth Ives Slater, the Gothic Revival style manse has been extremely well maintained and is open to the public for tours and events (weddings, family photoshoots, and the like).
A few of the highlights for any history and/or hidden gem buffs out there (Highly recommending the podcast The History Chicks btw, been binge listening for the past month or so and it's addictive.) include:
- One of the original descendants of Liz Slater, Anne Holst, her great-granddaughter, still lives on the property and has hosted private tours and teas there on the reg.
- It was added to the Natl Register of Historic Places back in 2013.
- The exterior, including the grand wrap around front porch, is must see stuff during late Spring and Summer in these parts. (Yesterday, guys, was NOT the day for front porches or outside exploring. It was around 11 degree by the time I finally made it over to 4157 Post Road.)
- There's an Egyptian themed reception room of the first floor (Apparently, something called Egyptian Revival Style was a huge trend in furniture + interior design around 1800 thru 1820 in the US.) with custom furnitire, hand-painted hieroglypic trim, and mini statues bookmarking the fireplace.
- Additionally, the dining room and extensive china collection. Hello, time capsule! There's this whole water fowl theme too, which had to have been a thing back in the late 19th, early 20th century. (Not my cup of tea but whatevs.)
- And lest we forget, the attic billiards room with that taxidermied gator (WTF?!?), which contines to be quite the conversation piece to this day I am sure.
There were also a bunch of neat sounding events in 2017 that I'm kicking myself over not knowing about and missing out on: a Wedding Dresses of the 1840s thru the 1990's exhibit (Feb 2016), a Downton Abbey style Tea (April 2016), a Murder Mystery Night (October 2016), and, of course, a Holiday Tea (this month). If you're interested in scoping it out and scheduling a tour, get more info at CloudsHill.org.
Photo Credits: Bottom photos courtesy of CloudsHill.org.