JWG (jwg) wrote,

The Elms, one of the Newport Mansions

This eighteen century french château is actually a nineteenth century house in Newport that was a copy of château d'Asnières built by Edward Berwind, a coal merchant from Philadelphia and New York. It has been well preserved/restored and was interesting to tour. For this tour we had audio guides which had lots of extra information if you wanted it. I listened to some of them and got extensive explanitions of servants roles, management of the house, how the kitchen worked, and the communications systems in the house. The house had its own electric generation plant. There were bells to summon servants in many places, and the was an internal telephone system so that the servants could talk to each other to pass on requests and orders.

This couple as was true for most of these residents did lots of entertaining of friends from their wide social circle and that kept the servants busy. The Berwinds were childless which I'm sure made entertaining simpler without having to worry about keeping the kids occupied and entertained. Mrs Berwind was a active lady since she had to manage the whole thing. They pointed out that in those days although women did not have management positions in industry many of them had equally difficult management jobs running their households.

The gardens were quite extensive and there were some magnificent trees (that were likely a lot smaller when the Berwinds lived there). Mrs Berwind died in 1922, Edwin in 1936, and his sister who was hostess after his wife died was there until 1961.

In the rear there were several very nice fountains.

Details from the second fountain:

Tags: architecture, motss-con, motsscon21

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