Oakland Farm

Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Built in 1893, for Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-1899) and his wife Alice Claypoole Gwynne (1845-1934). This was where they bred and kept thoroughbred horses for their other homes: the Vanderbilt Chateau in New York and The Breakers at nearby Newport. Cornelius died just six years later and left the farm to his son Alfred "Freddy" Vanderbilt who was a director of the International Horse Show Association and passionate about all things equine. He developed both the house and the farm and used it as a summer home. After his life was cut short when the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915, Oakland was left in trust to his eldest son, William Vanderbilt III, who took ownership on reaching majority in 1922. He lived here permanently up until the end of World War II, including the years during which he served as the 59th Governor of Rhode Island. By the end of the 1940s, he sold the house and farm and developed the land for housing. 

This house is best associated with...

Cornelius Vanderbilt II

Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Railroad President, of New York City

1843-1899

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt

"Freddy" Vanderbilt, Equine Enthusiast, killed aboard the RMS Lusitania

1877-1915

William Henry Vanderbilt III

William Henry Vanderbilt III, 59th Governor of Rhode Island

1901-1981

Contributed by Mark Meredith on 18/05/2020 and last updated on 19/05/2020.

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