Touring a Newport Mansion!

The boys and I decided to head out Monday for a field trip.  We had quite a few things planned to do and places to see before the schools in our area let out.  We've been putting off our trips waiting for the nice weather and sunshine.

I finally gave up on that and we decided to just head out.  All three boys settled on touring the Mable House mansion so that's what we did.  It was rainy and foggy but we didn't mind.

We knew we wanted a self- guided tour and several of the mansions offer those with the use of a headset.  The headset told us about each room, the family that lived there, and all sorts of wonderful facts and tid-bits!  (Many of which I took notes on using my camera's memo feature... that I somehow managed to delete before arriving home).

This 11 million dollar summer cottage was built by William K Vanderbilt as a birthday gift for his wife Alva.  It's called the marble house because the outside and most of the inside is comprised of marble. 

They had three children; one girl and two boys and a few times throughout the tour we were treated to excerpts from their daughter Consuelo's diary. 

ceiling of the dining room 

Everything from the fireplace to the walls of this Gothic room was built in France and then disassembled and shipped to America to be re-built and put in place.  

The walls in the ballroom were finished in 22 karat gold!  There were many depictions of the Sun god and Greek gods throughout the ballroom and much of the house.  The Vanderbilts thought of their home as a mini Versailles palace believing themselves to be on par with royalty. 

Alva's room was done all in purple with a raised bed platform.  She was a proponent of women's suffrage and hosted rallies on the lawn of the Marble house.  She was also the first woman of her time and social status to divorce her husband.  She then married one of his friends and moved into another mansion down the road.  

Since deliveries were made on the ground floor of the home the stairway leading up through the house had bars and a lock to keep anyone from wandering upstairs to where the family would be.  

The large kitchen was where food was prepared for the family and all of the parties they hosted.  

One of the main reasons we chose to tour Marble house was so we could see the pagoda in the back garden.  This homage to Chinese architecture was built by Alva to offset all the Greek accents found throughout the house. 

The boys had such a great time and we learned so much!  I think it took us about an hour to an hour and half to tour the whole house.  It wasn't very crowded so we were able to take our time in each of the rooms and look at all the details.

If you are ever in the Newport area I highly recommend visiting!


  1. I love looking around old houses - such an interesting post! #WeekendBlogHop

  2. OMW it boggles my mind how they lived. So incredible, and this is summer cottage!!? Wow. Thanks for all the photos and little snippets of information, /i really enjoyed it.

    1. Yeah.. a summer cottage!! Only used for a few months out of the year.. it is just mind blowing.

  3. What a marvelous tour, visiting from Take Me Away. Such opulence! And I enjoyed the history you gave us too. What scandal for the times! Divorce then marry his friend!

    1. We could not get over all the opulence for their "summer cottage"! I was stunned to learned that she had remarried his friend and I want to say the recording told us she still stored her clothes at marble house and used the laundry facilities after divorcing.

  4. Great photos! I toured Marble House many years ago so it was so nice to revisit through your post. On my next birthday, I think I will remind my husband of Alva's gift - lol! Thanks so much for linking up to Take Me Away this month!

  5. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 1!


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