Though not located within the Sowams Heritage Area, Newport, RI, was an important colonial settlement in the 17th century, especially during the King Philip War when many colonists took refuge here. The 17th Century MeetUp group visited Newport on May 19, 2019 to explore the Newport Tower, thought to be built by the first Governor, Benedict Arnold in 1675, as well as the oldest dwelling, the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House from 1697 and the oldest building in Rhode Island, the 1652 White Horse Tavern.
Jim Egan, owner of the Newport Tower Museum, offered a 45-minute tour of the Tower and his theory that the Tower was constructed by English Explorer John Dee in 1583. Click here to hear Jim explain his theory in 43 minutes.
Jim goes over the details of the Tower which he believes was built as an instrument to study cosmology and part of an early attempt to settle North American by Queen Elizabeth.I.
Jim brings the group to his museum across the street and goes into a detailed explanation of the Tower’s origins and purpose which is explained on his website at http://newporttowermuseum.com/
After visiting the Tower, the group walked to the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House at 17 Broadway for a tour led by Newport Historical Society Docent Pat Drislane which can be seen in a 9-minute video.
Pat Drislane leads the group to the 1699 Great Friends Meeting House while explaining how the Quakers worshiped and their opposition to involvement in armed conflict which can be seen in an 8-minute video.