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Berkeley House collection

Historical note

Berkeley House is located at 1 Berkeley Avenue in Newport, RI. It is a brick, Queen Anne cottage built in 1884-1885 for LeRoy King of Newport and New York, It was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White. It replaced a smaller wood structure that stood on the corner site of Berkeley and Bellevue Avenues.

LeRoy King (1857-1895) was the son of Edward King and a member of the extended King family that amassed a fortune in the China Trade. Other Kings include Dr. David King (Muenchinger-King building), Edward King (King Senior Center), David King Jr. (Kingscote), George Gordon King (Edgehill) and the artist Charles Bird King. At one time the Kings were the largest land owners, ever, in Newport. LeRoy King also built the King block of shops adjacent to the Newport Casino.

The house remained in one family for one hundred years. It passed from LeRoy King to his wife Ethel Rhinelander King, then to their children including Ethel King Russell, then to her son John Stephen Howland Russell. It is presently a three family dwelling.

Chronology of Berkeley House, 1 Berkeley Avenue, 262 Bellevue Avenue, Plat 33, Lot 26

1876

Atlas shows a corner lot with a wood house owned by Eliza T. Goffe, widow of John Goffe, adjacent to larger lot owned by Edward King.

1878 August 2

Deed transferred from Eliza T. Goffe to Mary King, David King, Jr. and LeRoy King, trustees under the will of Edward King, for $10,500, Land and improvements(LE 49:460).

1883

Atlas shows owner as LeRoy King, 50,673 sq. ft. wood house on corner, larger lot.

1884

Wood house moved to south end of lot or demolished. November 22 1885 The Newport Mercury reports that plans have been drawn for a new brick villa and the foundation has been poured.

1884-1885

House erected. Plans by McKim, Mead, and White. William Underwood, contractor.

1893

Altas shows owner as LeRoy King, 50,673 sq. ft. Brick house on corner, wood house to south.

1895

LeRoy King dies.

1907

Atlas shows owner as Ethel R. King, 53, 877 square feet, same.

1921

Atlas shows owner as Ethel R. King, same.

1925

Ethel R. King dies. House is passed to heirs.

1971

Ethel King Russell dies. House is willed to son, John Howland Russell.

1984

House sold to Josiah and Diana Bunting.

Ref: Lippincott, Bert. (2006 February 23). Berkeley House. (Institutional House History). Newport Historical Society, Newport, RI.