Old Stone Mill
Newport, Rhode Island 02840
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Much time and effort have been spent to determine the mill's origin. Most popular theory is that it was built by Norsemen before Columbus' voyage; academic theory has it built by a Colonial farmer. Located in scenic Touro Park on Bellevue Avenue across the street from the Newport Art Museum and Redwood Library. Representation of the tower is featured prominently on the Seal and unit patch of the former US Navy vessel, USS Newport. In a document of 1741, the tower is described as "the old stone mill." In 1760 the Tower was used as a haymow, while in 1767 it was described as having been used as a powder store "some time past." De Barre's plan of Newport, published in 1776, markes it as "Stone Wind Mill." During the American Revolution, the tower was used by the Americans as a lookout, and by the British to store munitions. The tower is located at the upper end of the plot behind the now-demolished mansion buiilt by Benedict Arnold, the first colonial governor of Rhode Island, who moved from Pawtuxet to Newport in 1651 (not to be confused with his great-grandson, General Benedict Anrold of the American Revolutionary War.) In 1677 Arnold mentions "my stone built Wind Mill" in his will: the site for his then-new burying ground, which survives to this day, is between this mill and his mansion. The phrase has therefore generally been accepted as referring to the Newport Tower, and is evidence the tower was once used as a windmill.
Services / Features / Restrictions: Attraction, Cultural, Newport County
Handicap Service: Complete Wheel Chair Access