COLONIAL NEWPORT PROVES CRITICAL IN SETTING TONE OF TOLERNACE FOR A YOUNG AMERICA
Newport, RI. | November 2, 2022
Unknown to many, colonial Newport was home to America’s first Synagogue. That simple fact, and the social and civic leaders who made it a reality are the subject of a new short film, “Pathways to Understanding.”
Sponsored by the Touro Synagogue Foundation and produced by Newport Living & Lifestyles CEO, Christon Gibson, the film informs teachers, mentors, community leaders, and other interested adults to learn about this period in American History.
The film, developed for middle school students, premiered on Wednesday, November 2, at the Jane Pickens Film & Event Center, 49 Touro St. in Newport, RI. A moderated discussion followed and Charter Books had a table in the lobby for young adults buy books that reflect different voices and religions. The stories, mostly fiction, emphasize overcoming adversity, the strength of character, and positivity. The event was free and open to the public.
A new Touro Synagogue Foundation program for middle school students. The film is the first step for students, educators, parents, and civic organizations to better understand the history of religious freedom, diversity, and dialogue in colonial times and today and to set the stage for an upcoming middle school symposium. When on-site, in person, students will have an opportunity to participate in a highly interactive learning experience, engage in personal reflection, and practice critical thinking. Funding for the project was provided by the Rhode Island Foundation.
Newport is a vibrant, yet quaint, seaside resort community. Its charming character shines most brightly in the Spring & Summer months. Truly a “walking city” you can reach to the bustling waterfront, quiet colonial streets, magnificent mansions and some of the best beaches anywhere by foot, bike or trolley.
Innovate Newport already impacting the local economy for large and small businesses alike. Listen in as Governor Gina Raimondo, Former President of the RI Senate Teresa Paiva Weed, Scott Gibbs of The Economic Development Foundation and Mayor Jamie Bova tell Newport Living and Lifestyles the perseverance it took to see this project come to fruition and where it will be leading us in the future. Reach Tuni Schartner 401-996-7822 for a tour and more information about leasing space in what is being named the offices of the future. Read the Transcript
Good morning! It’s a great day. It is a great opportunity that we have here.Innovate Newport is up and running and already teaming with entrepreneurs andenergy and to all of you here who played a role in making it happen I want to saythank you. I agree with the Mayor the list is too long for me to read. It tooka lot of hands in the kitchen to make this a reality, and by the way, I thinkthat’s what makes Rhode Island great. We are with Jamie Bova the current mayor of Newport and supporter of Innovate Newport. Jamie tell us how you think that innovative Newport is going to impactthe city of Newport going forward. This project Innovate Newport is really what I see as the beacon for future development and growth in the city of Newport. You know, we brought together so many different partners from across government and tribal organizations and private businesses and it’s really just the beginning in my opinion and it’s the beacon for the type of innovative economic growth that I think we can really look forward to in the city. I’m a Hoosier and I am really proud of that. If you notice that the basketball net is still up. I made sure that happened. It is really cool that in this space. I’m from South Bend Indiana originally. I married a woman from Massachusetts which means I was forced to live in New England. It’s always the other person.. I went to Umass Amherst for grad school, got out, got into business economic development and came to Rhode Island in 1984. So you have seen a lot of change. Yep, running this organization. So, I’ve been this organization for 33 years.It’s never because of any one person, it’s never because of one organization.I think part of this is really understanding that. Projects like this just takes so much hard work. There’s so many people, and they all have to be committed with the same vision. This is proof. We ran into a couple stumbling blocks with the city. City Manager Joe Nicholsonshowed tremendous persistence. This began as really just an idea with TheNewport Chamber and Keith Stokes at the time. And the unwavering support U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that made this possible. I remember Joe Nicholson and I saying, do you think we can really make Sheffield School into this. I watched this building lay fallow since the school closed and it was the spark that is important here. It’s symbolic of what can happen in the whole North End of the city. It’s not just this building. This is a true public-private collaboration. Public at every level, federal, state and city, private, with nonprofits as well as small businesses. I know it took a long time to get here, but I promise you, it was all worth it and to all of you who played a role. Thank you. I can’t wait to come back in a year and two and three and see this place as a beehive of innovation and busting at the seams and all the jobs and energy that it will create. Thank you so much and let’s continue to make it happen.
Newport Haunts with Newport Living and Lifestyles. Join Maura Lindsey of Tresor Estate Sales, Tori McNally of Ghost Tours of Newport and me on a brief tour of Newport Haunts. For a full tour of Newport Haunts head to Www.GhostsofNewport.com
Welcome to Newport Living and Lifestyles
I’m Christon and I’m here with my good friend Maura Lindsey of Tresor Estate
Sales and she’s going to join Tori McNally and I on a haunted ghost tour of
Welcome everybody and happy Halloween!
We’re gonna start right here with Washington Square.
Newport was really the hub of colonial commerce but it’s also
very much a paranormal hub as well.
This is the spot where 26 pirates were hanged
in July of 1726 . Right where we’re standing.
People definitely get the feeling of overwhelming doom, strong sadness,
people will also sometimes get the smell of tobacco
completely out of the blue
with no one around them or perfume.
So it is definitely is a very active square.
Like I said, this is really the hub of commerce and everything kind of ripples
out from here, I tend to feel.
All right, well let’s go take a look at some of the other places on your agenda today.
Absolutely! Absolutely! Why don’t we do maybe Brick Alley or as we
or as we call it, Blood Alley!
This is the K2 meter. It measures electromagnetic frequencies and it
allows us to kind of sense what energy is around us. So here in Blood Alley
we definitely get a lot of interesting readings. As a matter of fact,
it was just going off, (Yes it was) like crazy !
The whole reason why this whole area is called Blood Alley
is because sailors were coming in to town with pockets full of gold,
from being out at sea. The whole area was pretty much covered with tattoo parlors,
brothels and bars. ( Oh! ) It was said that there was a lot of
fighting from the soldiers and the sailors. That’s why it’s called Blood Alley!
So let’s check that off our box! Oh! So nothing to do with deaths and spirits.
We were wondering why it was called Blood Alley!
Welcome to The Artillery Company here on Clarke Street in Newport. It’s the oldest
continuous working artillery company in the country. Started off with a charter
by King George II in 1741. During the day it is a Museum of all war
artifacts. Things that soldiers and sailors would carry with them in the
battle or at sea. So we’ve heard everything from whistling,
to boot steps, the members of the Artillery Company
have heard revelry coming from the second floor.
Really! So these are harmless spirits I would gather?
I would gather, otherwise we would hear stories.
So they are harmlessness in the sense that they do not do damage?
Anytime that you have energy that’s connected with war it is very dark.
Welcome to the White Horse Tavern. It is actually the oldest continuous
working tavern in the country. It was built in 1673
by a gentleman by the name of Willie Mays, not the baseball player.
It’s been everything from a tavern, to a cabinetmaker shop,
to a boardinghouse and is now a fine-dining restaurant.
And shall I say, it definitely has a lot of activity.
People go in there for the spirits and they get a little bit more than they bargained for!
This has been great! So Fascinating! Thank you so much Tori!
You are most welcome! I’m happy to do it!
If you guys would like a Haunted Newport Tour ( Yep ! ) You can call Tori !
Contact Newport Ghost tours !
We are still doing tours every night up through Halloween.
Then starting November we tour on Saturday
and then we take a hiatus until April.
I’m also available for Tarot parties, as well as table tipping parties.
Well this has been such a treat!
Yes! Thanks so much guys for joining me today!
We look forward to seeing you on Newport Living and Lifestyles!
October 24th 5-7PM Explore Historic Belcourt Castle after partaking in hors d’oeuvres, wine and a discussion with Therese Anne Fowler, as she shares her experience writing “A Well Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts”. Hosted by Reading with Robin through a Belcourt Speaks Series. VIP seating $115 and general seating for $85 are still available, but moving quickly. Complimentary gifts included! ** Purchase your tickets at Belcourt.com and use code October **
Read the Transcript
Welcome to Newport Living and Lifestyles.
I am Christon and I am here with
historic documentary filmmaker David Bettencourt.
We are here to talk to you about a very exclusive event
being held here at Belcourt Newport.
It is hosted by Reading with Robin.
It is called Belcourt Speaks.
It is all about A Well Behaved Woman
a novel of the Vanderbilts.
Written by Therese Anne Fowler
October 24th 5 – 7PM
How can people purchase tickets?
You can get more information on our website
This is an event we are really proud to have at Belcourt.
It is sponsored by Alex and Ani, Bar and Board Bistro and
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards.
General admission tickets are $85 and $115 for VIP tickets
Where you get a Sakonnet tasting for 4 and a bottle of wine
hors d’oeuvres & wine.
An Alex and Ani set of 3 bangles,
Reserved seating and a copy of “A Well Behaved Woman,”
It is a really great event
where you get to learn more about how Theresa wrote this historical fictional novel
about the two figures who actually lived here
from 1896 to 1908.
Oliver is the reason why this building is even here.
He built it in 1891.
This is going to be a really interesting event. I am excited to host!
It is going to be gorgeous. Let’s go inside and take a look
at where the event is going to be happen inside.
So this is Alva Vanderbilt’s bedroom.
Who is this, with this fabulous hair?
This is the current owner of the house.
Visionary. Entrpreneur. Philanthropist
The people who did the work in this room, the plaster work,
actually made that sculpture for her as a thank you
for allowing them to do the work in this room.
This room was extensively restored by Carolyn.
There was lots of damage to it through out the entire room.
This room is important for the night of our event because
Alva would have slept in this room.
In 1896 she married Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont.
She quickly realized this one bedroom, 44,000 square foot apartment
needed a woman’s touch.
So she built this bedroom for herself.
It also has a sunken boudoir and bathroom,
which is actually hidden by a secret door.
Which I’ll show you in a second.
Visitors for this event on the 24th, should make sure to absolutely stop in this room,
because this is where Alva, the heroin of this book, would have spent most of her time at Belcourt.
Let’s check out the boudoir.
Oh! It is big and beautiful!
What room are we in right now? It is gorgeous.
We are on the second floor and this is where Oliver had his first party
here in September of 1895
This is where they would entertain.
There is a place for musicians above us.
There is an organ at the far end of the room.
The fireplace would have been lit.
The stained glass is 15th century.
This is where most of the events would have taken place at Belcourt.
Originally, the first floor, the entire first floor was for his horses.
His bedroom is right through that door.
This was really the main living area for Oliver.
When Alva moved in, they lived here together.
And when I say lived here, they only lived here for the summer.
Like 5 or 6 weeks out of the summer every year.
She built herself that bedroom that you just saw.
Then they began to change the downstairs, the coach house,
into a banquet hall where they could have more events.
Then Alva started to really entertain lavishly here at Belcourt.
Well, I can tell ya. I had a couple dance moves right here in this very room.
I went to a couple of events here…
This has a very Church-esque feel to it.
It really does, it is a beautiful space and its been meticulously restored.
Thoroughly cleaned, all the plaster work was redone, the stained glass was taken out and cleaned and refurbished and put back.
We have even brought back some of the armor collection.
The previous owners of the house were a family called the Tinney’s.
They had an armor collection and Oliver Belmont had a really beautiful armor collection back in the day in the 1890’s.
So we brought back some of the Tinney armor collection
so that it is similar to what Oliver would have seen in this room originally.
Let’s go check out the bedroom.
So this here is how Oliver lived his life.
This was his favorite saying, sans crainte, which means without fear.
And that is really how he lived his life.
He was a very interesting man,
He was kind of a playboy.
He was really into fashion.
A bon vivant…
He was an interesting guy
Alva always says she married first for money
and then married second for love.
I think they were really in love with each other.
For 12 years they summered here and they built things and
they entertained their friends and they had a really good time.
That is what Newport is about right?
It is really is! I think it is a really cool place to explore and
we are really looking forward to the event on the 24th.
This is where the event is going to take place.
This is gorgeous.
This is the coach house of Belcourt originally.
And originally it was a place for Oliver to keep all of his carriages and coaches.
He had kind of like the Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s of his time.
The best, state of the art, most modern coaches and carriages and he kept them in this room.
The entire first floor of Belcourt is actually devoted to his horses and to his racing and to his carriages.
After Alva and Oliver married in 1896 she started to realize that this was kind of a room that she could use for other things.
Such as big elaborate parties.
And it became a ballroom, which is what it is today.
The event will take place in this room.
It is probably the most majestic room that we have for events here in Belcourt.
I love the mosaic tiles. Where is this tile in from?
The floor is amazing
As I told you, it was originally for his garage, essentially.
He had Italian artisans put in this Italian marble mosaic floor.
It is just amazing
Tell us about a state of the art coach? What does that include?
In 1897 he brought a motor coach here, which would have been the first automobile in America.
And the first automobile parade in America took place in 1899 on the grounds of Belcourt.
They drove cars up Bellevue and ended with an obstacle course
and a contest for who could decorate their car the coolest.
Oh That’s fun!
And Alva led the way! It was Alva’s idea and Oliver played along and they all had these cars on the front lawn.
It was not long before his coaches got out of Belcourt and this became a place for them to entertain.
It really showed Newport and all of society at the time who Oliver and Alva were all about.
So even though you get a book here for the event.
You can still go online and purchase one and read up on it, so you are prepared with questions.
Yes , you can. You can even get an audible on audible.com You can listen to it being read
That is what I do!
Therese Anne Fowler’s book, A Well Behaved Woman is in book stores now.
To come to the event it is $85, $115 for VIP
All tickets include a copy of the book and you will be able to
hear how Therese wrote this fictional historical novel.
It is going to be a really fun time. There is food and wine.
Can’t beat that.
Can’t beat that. Hope you all come down to Belcourt.
Thanks so much for telling us all about this event and
We look forward to seeing you on Newport Living and Lifestyles!