Swinburne School of Household Arts

This gorgeous Newport, Rhode Island house made us feel all springy and joyful inside, and we got to see it a lot because it was on the same street as our B&B.

Built between 1832 and 1840, the house was originally owned by Henry Castoff, a West Indies merchant. In 1868, Castoff sold the house to dentist Robert B. Perry, who owned it until 1890, when William J. Swinburne bought it.

Swinburne owned a milling business and was a prominent member of the Channing Memorial Church, who was served as mayor from 1855-1856 and was a state legislator from 1886-1888. He had feed and grain warehouses, which were located on Swinburne Wharf.

After his 1897 death, he left the house to his daughter, Elizabeth Humphreys Swinburne. A philanthropist, Elizabeth was involved with the Newport Civic League, a local organization working to improve educational activities in Newport.

She was a member of the Board of Directors at Redwood Library and was a trustee at Channing Memorial Church. She also taught cooking and housekeeping for girls in her home, and had a lifelong interest in educating young girls.

When Elizabeth died in 1918, she left the building and an endowment to the Civic League to establish Swinburne School of Household Arts. The school was an educational center focusing on a variety of topics.

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