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Renfrew Park Cottages, Early 1900s


Real estate listings for homes on Renfrew Park, Middletown, say they were built in 1890 and 1896.
None of the homes in the satellite view look like this one.

Renfrew Park Cottage Company. Furnished Summer Cottages for Rent.

I have transcribed only part of the text. Click each image to bring up the larger version. I also did not scan most of the illustrations because they were all used as postcard views.
Summer Cottages at Newport. They are located near the east end of the town beach, where there are twelve nicely arranged furnished cottages, built and furnished in first-class style, having all modern improvements, being furnished in hard wood, with open fire places, decorated ceilings and walls handsomely papered. The plumbing is exposed and up to date, with a splendid supply of city water, and the system of drainage is perfect, being carried direct to the ocean. ... For it is to Newport that the ailing come to regain health; the rich come to find amusement and relief from ennui; the poor come to get inspiration for the battle of life; and the moderately well-off to find relief from the ordinary business and domestic cares of life. ... Mail is collected and delivered twice a day, and market men call for and deliver order every day free of charge.... The roads and driveways in Newport are considered the finest in the United States.
The location of these cottages is unexcelled, being on Purgatory Road at the end of the celebrated Bathing Beach and is so arranged that each cottage has a full view of the ocean.... the air is always cool and bracing, as the prevailing winds come from the southwest, directly from the water. The grounds to these cottages are neatly laid out with a large assortment of trees and shrubberies and with paths and driveways, and a large plot in the center of the more than one acre, which is used for lawn tennis, etc. Basement: toilet, laundry, wood and coal bins. First Floor: ... open brick fire places, large hall, parlor, dining room, kitchen, butler's pantry... Second Floor: Average five chambers, with clothes press [wardrobe] in each room, bath room. Third Floor: from two to four rooms. The cottages are fully furnished with handsome furniture and pictures and the very best of hair mattresses, also a large supply of china and glassware.... everything... with the exception of silverware, table and bed linens, and blankets. Garages are on the grounds... without extra charge.


This is one of the pictures in the brochure. Like the rest, it was published as a postcard. The postcard says, "Carnival Week, Newport, R. I., Aug. 6-11, 1906, - Thames Street, en Fete." The brochure was obviously printed after 1906, but before the first world war..
The cottages with the land and improvements, including furniture and garages, cost $135,000.00. We merely mention the cost to show you have extensive a place Renfrew Park really is, and also to give you an idea of the class of cottages that we have for rent. The cottages are equipped with an electric lighting system, and we remove all ashes and garbage without additional charge. P. J. Murphy, 165 Spring Street, Newport, R.I.


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