Reef Point

Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island

Built in 1865, for Antonio Modesto Yznaga del Valle (1823-1892) and his wife Ellen Maria Clement (1833-1908). This Italianate mansion stood on 6.2-acres and was considered to have had the finest view from the cliffs at Newport. It was demolished for that very reason in 1910 to allow for the oceanfront gardens at Clarendon Court, giving it an uninterrupted view. Today, the family is commemorated by "Yznaga Avenue" where their mansion once stood at the corner of Bellevue Avenue....

This house is best associated with...

Antonio Modesto Yznaga del Valle

Don Antonio Yznaga del Valle, of New York


Ellen (Clement) Yznaga

Dona Ellen Maria (Clement) Yznaga del Valle


Harry Ingersoll

Harry Ingersoll, of Philadelphia


Sarah Emlen (Roberts) Ingersoll

Mrs Sarah Emlen (Roberts) Ingersoll


Robert Niedermark Carson

Robert N. Carson, of Philadelphia; President of the Interstate Trolley Company


Isabel Frances Flickinger

Mrs "Fannie" (Flickinger) Carson


Born in Cuba, where his family held large estates, Yznaga del Valle was a merchant who came to New York to deal in Cuban trade. On retiring, he lived between Cuba and their plantation near Lake Concordia in Louisiana, serving as the Spanish Consul in New Orleans. Mrs Yznaga was heiress to the Ravenswood Plantation, Louisiana. Their eldest daughter, Consuelo, was best friends with Alva Vanderbilt and became the 8th Duchess of Manchester, while their only son, Fernando, married Alva's sister and was best friends with Alva's first husband, William Kissam Vanderbilt, the builder of Marble House.

Yznaga's summer residence was a large mansion built in the then fashionable Italianate style overlooking the ocean. He named the property "Reef Point" and at the time of its construction it was considered to have the finest view from the cliffs at Newport. Sometime between 1876 and 1878, Harry Ingersoll (1809-1886) and his wife Sarah Emlen Roberts (1809-1892), both of Philadelphia, purchased the mansion. The Ingersolls carried out several improvements and they summered here together for a further ten years before Harry died. His widow retained Reef Point until she too died in 1892.

The heirs of Mrs Ingersoll sold Reef Point to another native of Philadelphia, Robert Niedermark Carson (1844-1907), the self-made street railway magnate who endowed the Carson Valley School. Falling forward with a gasp, he had a heart attack and died in his chair as the curtain rose for the last act of The Merry Widow at the Chestnut Street Opera House in Philadelphia. In 1910, two years before her death, his widow, Fannie Flickinger (d.1912), sold the estate to her next door neighbour, Edward Collings Knight, Jr. (1863-1936), who six years previously had built Clarendon Court. In order to give his mansion an ocean view and formal gardens, Knight demolished Reef Point that year.

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 15/10/2018 and last updated on 07/03/2021.
Lost Newport - Vanished Estates of the Resort Era (2008), by Paul F. Miller


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