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 mansion stood on 6.2 acres of land, but was demolished in 1910 to allow for the oceanfront gardens at Clarendon Court. Today, the family is commemorated by "Yznaga Avenue" where their mansion once stood at the corner of Bellevue Avenue.
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 friend's 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 (1849-1920): William and Alva were the builders of Marble House at Newport.

Del Valle'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 it's 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 Emlyn (1810-1892), both of Philadelphia, purchased the mansion. The Ingersolls carried out several improvements and they summered there together for ten years before Harry died. His widow retained their summer residence until she too died in 1892.

The heirs of Mrs Ingersoll sold Reef Point to another native of Philadelphia, Robert Niedermark Carson (1844-1907) who from 1896 divided his time between there and his country estate, the celebrated Erdenheim Farm.

Two years before her death, Carson's widow, Isabel Frances 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 in 1910.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 15/10/2018 and last updated on 12/04/2019.
Lost Newport - Vanished Estates of the Resort Era (2008), by Paul F. Miller


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