This beautiful mansard-roofed home in Newport was long the residence of the Armington Family. The history is a little murky, but deed research shows the property was purchased in 1863 by Horace E. Armington, a Boston tailor. Horace likely purchased an earlier home and from it, built this larger, Second Empire style house to serve as a summer retreat. The family eventually settled in Newport full-time and their son, also Horace, took a job as Assistant Librarian at the Redwood Library in town. The family owned the property for generations until it was converted to professional office use, likely due to the commercialization in the 20th century of the main streets in Newport. The house retains much of its original detailing including the rooftop belvedere. The later-added shingle siding adds a rustic touch.
Located just a short walk from the oldest extant Jewish synagogue in the United States, Touro Synagogue (last post), the Touro Jewish Cemetery and stately gate, showcase the significance and position Jewish residents held in Newport, going back to Colonial times. The earliest Jews in Newport arrived from Barbados, where a Jewish community had existed since the 1620s. They were of Spanish and Portuguese origin; their families had migrated from Amsterdam and London to Brazil and then to islands in the Caribbean. After the completion of the synagogue in 1763, the Jewish community in Newport realized the need to acquire land for a Jewish cemetery. Two of the original immigrants, Mordechai Campanal and Moses Pacheco purchased the lot at the corner of what is now Kay and Touro Streets for this purpose. In 1843, the cemetery funded the erection of a cemetery gate and fencing to surround the plot. They hired architect Isaiah Rogers to design the gate, which he took inspiration from his design at Boston’s Granary Burying Ground, completed just two years earlier. The Egyptian Revival gate is a very rare example of the style in the United States. On the granite gate, the torches turned to face downward are an acknowledgement of the ending of life’s flame.