Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 657

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breeze from almost every point of the compass;
so that in all the hot months it is one of the
most comfortable places of residence any where
to be found. On this account, it has long been a
favorite place of fashionable resort, especially
for visitors from the south. Within a few years
past, a number of large and splendid hotels have
been erected, affording the best accommodations
that could be desired for all who come; so that,
in this respect, Newport is now the rival of Sar-
atoga itself.

The largest of these establishments are the
Ocean House, situated at the S. end of Bellevue
Street; the
Atlantic House, at the head of Pelham
Street; and the
Bellevue House, having its most
extensive front on Catharine Street. The Ocean
House was first built in
1843, by a company,
which has since been incorporated by the legis-
lature of Rhode Island. In August,
1845, this
edifice was entirely burnt to the ground; and
in the following autumn and winter, it was re-
built with great additions to its extent and
splendor. These are the most extensive estab-
lishments, for the entertainment of company, in
town ; but there are a number of others, where
boarders are handsomely accommodated, and for
a few weeks in summer they are all generally

Newport is rendered attractive not only by its
cool and salubrious climate, but also by several
objects of curious interest to the lovers of anti-
quarian research ; its splendid beaches, adapted
in the highest degree to the luxury of surf bath-
ing ; its abundant means of enjoyment for those
who are fond of the pleasures of sailing or
fishing in its secure and capacious bay and har-
bor; and the many beautiful rides over the
area of the island in the rear of the town, upon
roads of the finest description, and amidst the
beautiful shrubbery and verdure, which its rich
soil and moistened atmosphere sustain in fresh

Among the antiquities of Newport is what is
commonly called the
Old Stone Mill; which
is one of the very few works of human structure
in our country, the origin and design of which
are involved in impenetrable mystery. That it
may have been once fitted up and used for a mill,
is perhaps probable, from the fact that it is men-
tioned in the will of Governor Benedict Arnold,
who, in 1657, succeeded to Roger Williams in
the government of Rhode Island, as “my old
stone-built wind mill; '' but that the structure
wa? originally intended for such a purpose, is
what few, considering its peculiar configuration
and unknown antiquity, will be able to believe.
There is no record, nor any traditionary legend,
worthy of credit, to satisfy inquiry concerning
the date, design, or artificers of this curious edi-
fice. These points have occasioned much specu-
lation ; but all has been vain as to any satisfac-
tory result.

This building, which, besides the above name,
is frequently called the
Old Tower, and the
Newport Ruin, is a circular tower, 23j feet in
diameter, and 28£ feet high, composed of irregu-
lar, rough stones, said to bear no affinity to the
rocks of the island. The body of this building
is elevated upon 8 round pillars of the same
material, arches being turned between the pillars.
The height of these pillars is about 10 feet. The
walls of the tower above are 18 inches thick,
having one narrow loophole on the N., one on
the W., and one on the S. sides. On the E. side
is a fireplace, with its flue in the wall. The
roof and floors, if any it had, were of perishable
materials, and are gone, leaving the interior
open to the sky. It stands on a vacant lot upon
the hill, a little E. of Spring Street, and between
Pelham and Mill Streets. It has been supposed,
by some, to have been built by the Northmen for
a religious use; others have maintained that it
was reared by the early inhabitants, as a place of
refuge and defence against the Indians. The
former of these hypotheses is of course conjec-
tural, and the latter seems intrinsically improb-

The company which annually visits Newport
is of a peculiarly select and elevated character.
The place differs in this respect from most of our
fashionable resorts. It is not health or amuse-
ment which is here sought, so much as comfort,
and fine society, and freedom from the cares of
business and professional engagements. It is true
many are here from the gay and pleasure-loving
circles in the community; but the greater part
of those who come are persons who aim to find
in these elegant establishments, or in the beauti-
ful cottages and summer houses which they have
provided for themselves, a residence for the time
being, partaking somewhat of the character of
the homes of high life in the cities.

This beautiful island is approached by a daily
line of steamboats from New York, from which
it is distant 157 miles N. E.; and from Boston,
also daily, by railroad and steamboat, about 70


These falls, in the Niagara River, which is
the outlet of the great lakes of North America,
containing one half of all the fresh water on the
globe, are justly regarded as one of the most
sublime and imposing spectacles in nature. The
river, which flows from Lake Erie in a channel
three fourths of a mile wide, and from 20 to 40
feet deep, and which is, at this place, about the
same width, while pressing with great force down
the declivity of the rapids for almost 3 miles
above, is here precipitated over a perpendicular
descent of 160 feet, with a tremendous roar,
which is ordinarily heard from 15 to 30 miles,
and has sometimes been heard at Toronto, a dis-
tance of 45 miles. It has been estimated that
the volume of water carried over Niagara is not
less than
six hundred and seventy thousand tons in
a minute. It is the vastness of elements like
these, entering into the conception of this stu-
pendous natural phenomenon, which carries the
emotions of wonder and sublimity with which
it strikes the outward senses to their highest

About three miles above the falls commence
the rapids. These are caused by a descent
in the bed of the river of about 52 to 57 feet, in
the course of which are numerous ledges of rocks
from 2 to 4 feet high, extending wholly across
the channel, over which this mighty volume of
waters, in a dashing and foaming torrent, is hur-
ried on towards the tremendous Cataract. The
declivity of the river's bed is a little greater on
the British than on the American side, as denoted
by the numbers expressed above. This circum-
stance, together with a bend in the course of the
stream, causes the principal weight of the water,
computed to be about seven eighths of the whole,
to be thrown towards the Canadian side of the

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