Hammersmith Farm

225 Harrison Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island

Built in 1887, for John Winthrop Auchincloss (1853-1938) and his wife, Joanna Hone Russell (1856-1933). The 28-room mansion sat on a 97-acre farm first named "Hammersmith Island" by William Brenton (1610-1674), 2nd Governor of Rhode Island. In 1897, John sold Hammersmith to his younger brother, Hugh Dudley Auchincloss (1858-1913) and that year Hugh's wife, Emma (whose brother built Mailands), employed the Olmsted Brothers to landscape the grounds, which even today still cover 40-acres... 

This house is best associated with...

John Winthrop Auchincloss

John W. Auchincloss, of New York & "Hammersmith Farm" Newport, Rhode Island

1853-1938

Hugh Dudley Auchincloss

Hugh D. Auchincloss, Sr., of New York & "Hammersmith Farm" Newport, R.I.

1858-1913

Hugh Dudley Auchincloss

Hugh D. Auchincloss Jr., Broker, of Auchincloss, Parker & Redpath, Washington D.C.

1897-1976

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier

Mrs "Jackie" Kennedy, afterwards Onassis; First Lady of the United States

1929-1994

The Olmsteds continued to make various improvements to the property up until 1946, by which time Hammersmith had passed to Hugh's son, Hugh Dudley Auchincloss Jr. (1897-1976). It was here in 1953 that Hugh hosted the wedding reception for his stepdaughter Jackie on the occasion of her marriage to John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). In order to find a moment's calm amid all the preparations, Jackie had spent the day before the wedding at Stonor Lodge. During the early 1960s, John and Jackie came here frequently and it served as an informal "Summer White House". In 1977, Hugh's widow sold the property to a group of investors and for the next twenty years it was open to the public. In 1997, it was sold to William F. Farley for just under $6.7 million who flipped it two years later for a tidy profit of $1.3 million to banker Peter Kiernan, of Goldman Sachs. After carrying out extensive restorative works, it was once again returned to being a family vacation home. 

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 20/08/2019 and last updated on 07/08/2020.

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