Bountifall

It isn’t easy to let go of an amazing season in the gardens but at some point in the fall we will have to. Just not quite yet! There’s more activity and color in the gardens than ever – I don’t think I’ve ever seen more monarch butterflies than I have this week and even […]

Time to tell

One of the things that sets Blithewold apart from other summer cottages in Rhode Island (aside from the grounds of course) are our extensive archives. The family left a priceless treasure of decades worth of photographs, letters, playbills, menus, journals, home movies and clippings in the attic – everything was saved. Generous family members have […]

Vacation house

I think it’s because I work here year-round that I tend to forget that Blithewold was built as a summer retreat. The Van Wickle/McKee family came up from Pennsylvania and later down from Boston and spent the entire summer here, from late May to October. Unlike most of the grandiose Newport mansions which were occupied […]

The Great Lawn

It’s weird that I’m compelled to write about a lawn when the pink styrax is in bloom and the roses look so pretty but the other day a visitor asked me what turned out to be a provocative question. As we looked out across the expanse of the Great Lawn she asked, “Now, what was […]

Ghosts

The house is full of ghosts today With happy going to and fro – They swim and sing and laugh and play This joyous group from years ago. Aunt Bessie and the Commodore Two dear and gracious souls, I say – Are wilcoming their guests once more, Just as they did it yesterday. A wedding […]