Due to family ties that united the Perry and Champlin families in Newport, George Champlin Mason’s architectural practice was assured when launched in 1860 with the commission for the August Belmont Villa By-the-Sea. Two and a half decades later he was the perfect choice to compile a history of Rhode Island’s famous sea-side town.
This volume can be found in the Rhode Island listings in our American County Histories collection. This book stands out among others for its strong focus on architectural details and the inclusion of so many sketches and photos of public buildings and private homes in Newport. A very small selection is included below.
NEWPORT, R. I., May 26, 1884.
My DEAR MR. MASON,
Many of the lovers of old Newport, who treasure its pleasant memories and are pained to realize that some of them are fading and passing away, are very desirous to persuade you to embody in a book the valuable and interesting letters which you have contributed to the Providence Journal and New York Evening Post for many years, over the signature of Aquidneck and Champlin.
If you will favorably regard our wishes and will comply with this expression of them, we are assured that it will gratify and instruct a host of readers, and will embalm in a more permanent form individual sketches and historical associations which are otherwise likely to be lost.
Very truly yours,
CHARLES C. VAN ZANDT.