Tobacco heiress Catharine Lorillard Wolfe had the gorgeous Vinland Estate built by Peabody & Stearns in Newport, Rhode Island, in1888.
Wolfe was widely considered the wealthiest unmarried woman in the world.
A Viking settlement is its theme for the building, which features intricate carvings of fruits and vines in the window casings.
One account says that Wolfe was reportedly inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “The Skeletons in Armor,” having named it after the first spot the old Norsemen landed on their cross-ocean voyage. But Wolfe also spent years staring at the oldest structure in Newport, Old Stone Mill, from her home near Touro Park, and became fascinated by its Viking legends.
The estate was sold to railroad tycoon Hamilton McKown Twombley, and his wife, Florence. The couple greatly enlarged the house between 1907 and 1910.
In 1955, the Twombley’s daughter, Florence Burden, donated it to Salve Regina University. It serves as the school’s main building, McAuley Hall.
We recently featured Wolfe’s earlier home here.