Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cruising Through History

   We took a boat cruise around Newport harbor this morning and learned all about the Newport mansions, the history of the harbor and it's lighthouses, and fort Adams.  We learned about the historic boat we were riding on and got to see just how fast it went during prohibition when it was a Rum Runner.  Prior to boarding the boat we spent some time walking around historic Newport and learned all about scrimshaw.  We got to see the various materials they use for scrimshaw, the tools of the trade and how it's inked after carving.  We learned that the pineapple became a symbol of hospitality because ship captains would often bring a pineapple back from their journeys south, spear it onto a stick and place it in his front yard as a sign that he was back and was willing to visit with friends and family and tell them about his trip.  After our boat tour we walked through an art gallery and discussed the differences between realism, impressionism, and modern art.  We had lots of fun checking out the yachts and were stunned to hear that the biggest one cost $200 million!!  It's sister ship is owned by George Lucas and even though the boys are big Star Wars fans they did not know who that was or how anyone could make that much money so we discussed that too.  It was a great day and a wonderful way to learn about history, geography, and art.
We were so excited to hear that this was Ida Lewis' lighthouse; we
read all about the first woman lighthouse keeper when we were
studying Rhode Island.  She saved 18 lives!  

This mansion was brought over brick by brick from Europe and
then reassembled 

Since this house was built by one of the Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire
sauce owners each chimney is different and created to look like
one of the bottles of Worcestershire sauce! 

This is one of the few mansions that is still privately owned today.
It's nicknamed the Acropolis since it has so many columns 

A small portion of Fort Adams; one of the oldest forts on the East

The Newport Bay Bridge; a suspension bridge that's even longer than
 the Golden Gate bridge.  It's high enough off the water for aircraft carriers to fit underneath 

This mansion was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' Childhood home
It's where her and John had their wedding reception.  (The light
house looking this was her play house!) 

The most photographed light house in & around

This house is nicknamed Clingstone since it survived the hurricane
in 1938; though barely.  Built by Joseph Wharton, his wife was in the
house, alone, stranded, during the hurricane.  She ended up opening
up all the doors and windows and barricading herself inside a closet during the storm. Shortly after the roof was ripped off the storm died down and she was rescued by her children the next day.  She never wanted to step foot in the house again.   

You can sign on to be a light house keeper at
Rose Island!  This lighthouse was almost
torn down and the island was going to be
turned into a series of condos but it was saved
and preserved by local folks.  

The largest & newest boat in Newport; 5 decks, with an elevator,
a pool on each deck, the capacity to sleep 14 people and a $200
million price tag!  

My boys were quite taken with this fishing boat 

historic Newport; with cobblestone streets! 

The Rum Runner II; the boat we went out
on today.  Constructed in 1929 it's a
restored bootlegger boat.  
Learning about scrimshaw; the tools of the trade


  1. Amazing shots! Those are some beautiful locations. Thanks for sharing them with us. I feel like I went along with you!

    1. Thanks! I wasn't really sure if any of them would come out that great since my camera is in the shop and I had to rely on my phone and my middle son's cheapo camera but I was pleased to see they took pretty good pictures. I'm sure it helped that it was such a beautiful day.