274-6 Thames Street, Newport, Rhode Island
Built circa 1760, for shipowner Philip Robinson, it was located on the east side of Thames Street between Green and Pelham streets, and was later passed to the Stoddard brothers, William and Robert. In 1791, the Stoddards sold the house to Colonel Christopher Champlin (1730-1805), a prominent merchant and freemason who in the same year was appointed the first Grand Master of St. John's Lodge at Newport, Rhode Island. Following his death in 1805, he left the house to his widow (mother of Christopher Grant Champlin) who was then living here with her widowed daughter, Mrs "Peggy" Mason, whose husband, Dr Benjamin Mason, had died four years earlier leaving her with four young children. Ten years previously, Peggy had been the dance partner of George Washington and was greatly admired by the Prince de Broglie, but her home is best remembered as the house in which her daughter married the "Hero of Lake Erie"....
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Peggy and her mother brought up her four children here, one of whom, Elizabeth, was married in the parlor of this house in 1811 to the "Hero of Lake Erie", Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Elizabeth's nephew George Champlin Mason Sr. became Newport's first native-born architect and the architect of the first wave of its Gilded Age 'cottages' that put Newport on the social map. Peggy died here in 1841 and the house was then most likely home to Elizabeth Perry. She died in 1858 and was only survived by two of her five children, both of whom were living elsewhere. By the 1870s, the house had become a commercial property and it was demolished in the 1950s in favor of a parking lot.
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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 02/11/2020 and last updated on 02/01/2021.
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