Hales Ives House

327 Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island

Built 1857, for Robert Hale Ives Sr. (1798-1875) and his wife Harriet Bowen Amory (1803-1868). This three story pink brick mansion was formerly located at 327 Benefit Street, at the corner of Charlesfield Street in Providence. It was built on land that belonged to the John Brown House and since it's demolition circa 1925, the land on which it stood has been reunited to the Brown House....
In 1831, Robert purchased from his first cousin, James Brown III (1761-1834), a parcel of land to the west of John Brown House on Benefit Street, Providence. In 1853, he came into the possession of the John Brown House itself, gifting it the following year to his eldest daughter, Elizabeth Amory Ives (1830-1897), to commemorate her marriage to William Gammell (1812-1889). Although Robert's new home and it's three outbuildings were completed in 1857, he did not take up residence there until 1866.

On his death in 1875, Robert left his home to his daughter and son-in-law, the Gammells. As they lived at the John Brown House, it became the winter residence of their eldest son, Robert Ives Gammell (1852-1915), to whom it was officially deeded by his parents in 1878.

Robert's wife, Eliza Anthony Hoppin (1859-1938), had always preferred their summer home in Newport, and when Robert died in 1915, she and their children rarely occupied the house. Eventually, in 1923 Mrs Gammell sold it to the new occupant of the John Brown House, Marsden Jaseal Perry (1850-1935).

Sometime between 1923 and 1926, Perry demolished the Hale Ives House, joining up the lawns of the two adjoining estates into one beautiful lawn that now lies before the John Brown House. Perry was a preservationist with a passion for history and his reasons for knocking down such a beautiful house are perhaps lost to time. However, some have said that just as the original builder of Perry's home, John Brown (1736-1803), had specifically chosen that spot for the view of the water, maybe Perry wished for the same. 

The Hale Ives House would have been located where the Brown University ARCH 1900 Archaeology of College Hill class had their Unit 6 digging site.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 03/11/2018 and last updated on 07/02/2021.


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