2007-08-30 / News

Two historic homes part of JHS annual tour

Lippincott-O'Neill House Lippincott-O'Neill House The annual House Tour sponsored by the Jamestown Historical Society is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The two historic homes featured on this year's tour are Belvedere located at 36 Walcott Ave., and The J.B. Lippincott House located at 177 Beavertail Rd. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at either Belvedere or at the J.B. Lippincott House on the day of the tour only.

The older of the two houses, Belvedere, was built by Admiral David Dixon Porter and his wife, George Ann Patterson, in 1888. Admiral Porter went to sea at age 13 as a midshipman and met his wife, the daughter of Commodore Daniel T. Patterson, while serving under her father. From 1865 to 1869 he was the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and was promoted to admiral in 1870, succeeding his foster brother, David Farragut, as the Navy's top admiral.

The house, designed by Charles L. Bevins, is a 1-1/2-story, clapboard-and-shingle clad cottage with long shed dormers across the front and rear, and a shed roofed piazza across the front. The top story was removed in the 1940s.

David Adams, great-grandson of Admiral and Mrs. Porter, will be on hand on the tour date to greet the visitors and talk about his ancestors.

The second house on the tour, at 177 Beavertail Rd., was built in 1892-93 for J.B. Lippincott, son of the founder and later president of the J.B. Lippincott Co. publishing firm. In 1885 Lippincott married Joanna Wharton, daughter of Joseph Wharton, whose house, Horsehead, already stood across Mackerel Cove. Upon Lippincott's death in 1940 the house descended to his daughter, Marianna Lippincott O'Neill. Her descendants still own both the house and the separate carriage house (which is not included on the tour).

The Lippincott house, originally called Meeresblick (bay view), was designed by the architectural firm Pritchett and Pritchett of Philadelphia, and built by Charles Soule of Jamestown with much of the specialized work subcontracted to firms from Newport. The lower story of the house is built of local stone, while the upper levels are shingled.

The JHS Annual House Tour will be held rain or shine. For additional information, call Mary Heath at 423-3333.

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