Local History

The Eleazer Arnold House

Still the best of the "stone-enders" in Rhode Island, the house was built in 1687 on land that Eleazer's father Thomas had purchased in 1661. Licensed as a tavern in 1710, the house served as a haven for travelers and locals alike, including the notable General le Comte de Rochambeau, whose French forces aided the Americans at Yorktown. After Eleazer's death in 1722, the house was passed onto successive generations of Arnolds. In 1918 several descendants presented it to SPNEA (Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) which is the current owner and operator.

Originally erected with two stories, a large gable, small lead-paned windows, and the famous stone chimney across one end of the structure, it was considered quite a showcase in its day. Over the years, there have been additions and alterations; the large gable is gone and the windows were changed. However, the chimney/fireplace itself still stands in its original glory as a monument to the three masons who successively constructed it in turn. In the 1960's, there was a push to restore the Arnold house to its first design with the tiny diamond-paned windows and plain door. This is how it remains today.

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