Go to Top

History Bytes: Old Port Days

In the 1920s, Newporters looked internally to their own origins and the birth of the nation. Colonial revival decoration and architecture were increasingly popular and the great period of the 18th century was celebrated with festivals, house tours, music and costumes.

Old Port Days began in 1929 as an all-day block party on Washington Street to raise money for the restoration of the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, Newport’s first historic house museum. The Old Port group hosted similar events through the 1930s and 40s, as well as provided educational programs about history and architecture. In 1963, Old Port morphed into Operation Clapboard, the beginning of the city-wide house restoration movement.

Above: Residents from the Point neighborhood wearing historic costumes greet visitors for tours of the “Hunter House” (St. Joseph’s Convent) in 1929.