We're very excited to have our event at OceanCliff.
Like much of the island, the Manor has an interesting history.
Resort occupies the site of the former Bronson Villa, owned
by Arthur Bronson of New York. The villa was built in 1864 and
was used as a summer residence by the Bronson’s for several seasons.
The estate was then sold to Gaun M. Hutton, a steel industrialist
from Baltimore, Maryland, and his wife, Celeste Winans Hutton,
also from Baltimore. In 1892 the family began construction on
the estate. The Newport Daily News of Monday, August 29, 1892
reported that, “Ground has been broken for a porter’s lodge”.
By April of 1893, the gatehouse had been completed and was described
as “handsome, gothic in style, built of brownstone with a coxwell
corrugated iron-stone roof”, which was imported from Ireland and
is virtually unable to be reproduced today. Not until Thursday,
September 6, 1894 did the Providence Journal report that, “…Hutton
has contracted for a new villa to be erected upon the site of
the present cottage…two years ago he build an expensive and handsome
gatehouse and wall to the estate, pursuing a different course
from that usually followed, putting up the fence before the house”.
The contractor for the new cottage was McNeal of Boston. Plans
were drawn by Peabody and Stern of Boston. (McNeal has also been
spelled McNeil in some announcements.) They had until May of 1896
to complete the building. The original building was removed from
its site one week later so the new villa could be started. By
the end of September, five carloads of red Braintree granite had
arrived by rail from Braintree, Massachusetts, and were taken
from the Old Colony deport on J. K. Sullivan’s “scows” to the
Hutton Estate. The gatehouse was used as housing for the workmen
and stonecutters, employed on the new building. They were paid
a mere $2 per week in wages, plus room and board.
In April of 1899, McNeal began his final project for the property,
which was to construct stables on the southwest corner. The stable
burned to the ground sometime in the 1950’s.
The estate remained a private summer home until 1954 when it
was sold by H. A. Prichard (Gaun Hutton’s daughter) and was converted
into a hotel and restaurant. It has since had numerous owners.