Old Colony House

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The Newport Historic District

The Newport Historic District, which includes Old Colony House, covers 250 acres in the center of Newport, Rhode Island. It received National Historic Landmark designation in 1968 due to its unique and large collection of intact colonial buildings. Many sites, five of them National Historic Landmarks in their own right, are contributing properties to the Newport Historic District.

Newport, founded in 1639, served as the Colonial Capital. Known for its religious freedom, Newport welcomed persecuted Quakers from Massachusetts and Sephardic Jews from Portugal. The history of this diverse settlement is well-preserved in the district.

Old Colony House

Colonists built the Old Colony House in 1741. This building served as the center of Rhode Island’s government from colonial days through the 19th century. In 1900, the state legislature moved all sessions to the new capitol building in Providence. Old Colony House then became the county courthouse.

Today, Old Colony House is a museum, managed by the Newport Historical Society. In 1997, it appeared in several scenes of the movie Amistad.

Newport Area Posts

Location: Newport, Rhode Island
Designation: National Historic Landmark
Date designated/established: 1960
Date of my visit: October 3, 2021

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