Historical Markers in
Newport County, Rhode Island

A Giant Among Forts Alexander Jack Jr. House Battle of Rhode Island 1778 Bay Islands Park Between the Wars Boats of the Bay Brenton Point Maritime Memorial Brenton Point State Park Buffum-Redwood House Building a Fortress Buliod-Perry House Butts Hill Fort Cap't George Buckmaster House Captain John Warren House Changing Role of the Fort Chateau-sur-Mer & Its Neighbors: A Victorian District Preserved Cliff Walk Cliff Walk Col. Benjamin Church Conanicut Battery Defending From Land Assault Defending Narragansett Bay Eisenhower Park Elisha Johnson House EqyptAir Flight 990 Memorial Erich A. O’D. Taylor Fog Signal Building Fort Adams Fort Adams Fort Adams Foundation Fort Barton Fort Wetherill Foundation of the Original Beavertail Lighthouse Garden of New England Gideon Cornell House Going Great Guns Great Friends Meeting House Green End Fort Harbor Mine (Torpedo) Complex History of the Beavertail Light Station History of the Dumplings Holt’s Trail Hunter House J. Joseph M. Martin James Nicholl House John Adams Jonathan Gibbs House Life in Fort Adams Maj. Gen. Isaac Ingalls Stevens Mary Ferrazzoli Park Memorial to the French Fleet Memorial to the Veterans of Jamestown Militia Common Missing at Sea May 7, 2007 Newport Casino / International Tennis Hall of Fame Newport Harbor Newport Historic District Oil Storage Building Old St. Mary’s Church Old State House Oliver Hazard Perry Perry Portsmouth Compact Portuguese Navigators Monument Portuguese Navigators: Pioneers in Maritime Exploration Prescott’s Headquarters Prospect Hill Returning Old Glory 2001 Rhode Island Marine Memorial Rhode Island Red RI Pilots of Brenton Reef Pilot Station Rochambeau Rosecliff & Its Neighbors: Fading Glamour & Modern Revival Rough Point & Its Neighbors: Preserved Houses Rovensky Park & Its Neighbors: Open Space Preserved S/V Marques Samuel Bours House Site of the Battle of Rhode Island Southwest Battery The 1749 Foundation The 1st Rhode Island Regiment and the Battle of Rhode Island The Assistant Keeper's House The Black Regiment The Breakers The Colony House The Colony House / The State House The Elms & Its Neighbors: The Battle for Historic Preservation The Frederick Law Olmsted Park The Granite Light Tower The Irish Connection to Fort Adams The Isaac Bell House & Its Neighbors: Progressive Architecture The Keeper's House The New Jersey House The Rocky Shore The Tree of Liberty The West Passage to Narragansett Bay Three Tiers of Firepower Tom Robinson House Touro Synagogue U.S.S. Bennington CVA-20 Understanding the Fort W 3 R Washington Square Whale Rock Lighthouse White Horse Tavern Wilbour-Ellery House World War I Memorial Tower
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Newport, Rhode Island was once one of the wealthiest cities in America due to its prominence in the shipping and whaling industries in the 18th century.
Newport County, located in the state of Rhode Island, has a rich history that dates back to the early colonial period. The area was first settled by European colonists in the early 17th century, and Newport itself was founded in 1639 by a group of religious dissidents seeking religious freedom. The town quickly grew due to its strategic location for trade and commerce, particularly in the shipping industry.

By the 18th century, Newport had become one of the busiest ports in colonial America, serving as a major center for trade with the West Indies and Europe. The city was known for its prosperous merchant class, which built stunning mansions along the waterfront. However, the American Revolution brought significant change to Newport as British forces occupied the city during the war. After the war, the economy gradually declined, and Newport lost its status as a major trading hub.

In the 19th century, Newport experienced a revival as a resort destination for the wealthy elite, who were drawn to the area for its natural beauty and moderate climate. The Gilded Age saw the construction of lavish summer cottages, including the famous Newport Mansions, which are now popular tourist attractions. Newport also became known for hosting prestigious social events, such as the America's Cup sailing race.

The 20th century brought more changes to Newport County. During World War II, the area became an important naval base, with the construction of naval facilities and the presence of the US Navy's Atlantic Fleet. Over time, the naval presence declined, and the local economy shifted towards tourism and education. Today, Newport County continues to attract visitors with its historic sites, museums, scenic coastline, and vibrant cultural scene.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Newport County, Rhode Island.

  • 1639: Newport County is founded by settlers from Massachusetts
  • 1640: First European settlement is established in Newport
  • 1650: Newport becomes a thriving colonial port and center of trade
  • 1677: The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is established, with Newport County as one of its four original counties
  • 1758: The British establish a military base in Newport during the French and Indian War
  • 1776: Newport County experiences a significant decline in trade due to the American Revolutionary War
  • 1780: British forces occupy Newport during the Revolutionary War
  • 1793: Newport begins to transition into a fashionable summer resort town
  • 1834: Construction of the Newport Bridge, the first bridge connecting Newport to the mainland, is completed
  • 1855: The wealthy Vanderbilt family builds their summer home, The Breakers, in Newport
  • 1895: The first America's Cup yacht race is held in Newport
  • 1914: Construction of the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge, replacing the original Newport Bridge, is completed
  • 1954: The Newport Jazz Festival is established, becoming one of the most significant jazz events in the world
  • 1969: The Newport Folk Festival becomes a renowned event in the American folk music revival
  • 2001: Newport celebrates its 350th anniversary
  • 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic impacts tourism and events in Newport County