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Chateau-sur-Mer, Newport, Rhode Island.
Chateau-sur-Mer, Newport, Rhode Island.

Chateau-sur-Mer is one of the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, now open to the public as a museum. Chateau-sur-Mer's grand scale and lavish parties ushered in the Gilded Age of Newport, as it was the most palatial residence in Newport until the Vanderbilt houses in the 1890s.

Chateau-sur-Mer was completed in 1852 as an Italianate villa for William Shepard Wetmore, a merchant in the China trade, and is a landmark of Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. Mr. Wetmore died in 1862, leaving the bulk of his fortune to his son, George Peabody Wetmore (later Governor of Rhode Island and a United States Senator), who married Edith Keteltas in 1869. During the 1870s, the Wetmores departed on an extended trip to Europe, leaving architect Richard Morris Hunt to remodel and redecorate the house in the Second Empire style. As a result, Chateau-sur-Mer displays most of the major design trends of the last half of the 19th century.

The house was purchased by the Preservation Society of Newport County in 1969.

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