Breton Point State Park

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Breton Point State Park

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Breton Point State Park is a state park on the coastline of Newport, Rhode Island. It offers a wide variety of activities, and presents a spectacular view of the Atlantic, Beavertail Lighthouse of Jamestown, and a marvelous sunset. Rich in history, hikers can see the remains of what was once a prosperous estate just off the walking trails of the park. Breton point offers visitors woodsy trails to explore, restrooms, picnic tables, kite-flying, hiking, gentle rock-climbing, fishing, picture-taking, or just a place to sit and relax.



The land on which the state park resides once belonged to William Breton, an American Colonial Official who moved from England to Rhode Island in 1673. He was the governor and deputy governor of Newport from 1660 – 1668 and resided at his estate, Hammersmith farm, part of which is now Breton Point State Park. The land next passed to Theodore Davis, a lawyer and famous Egyptologist, who in 1889 constructed the “Reef”, a large, shingled mansion characterized by its tall chimneys, distinctive tower, and wide windows overlooking the sea. Davis also built the grand stables known as the Carriage House, the remains of which visitors may still see today, the Tower, with a four-faced clock and musical chimes visitors today can still climb to get a better view of the ocean beyond the Point, and the servants quarters called the Bungalow, today home to Park Administration and bathrooms of Breton Point. In 1941, the army took control of the land and it was used as the Costal Artillery Battery until 1946. In July of 1960, the main house was destroyed by a fire and finally torn down in 1963. In 1969, the State of Rhode Island took over the property and in 1976 it was finally opened to the public as a state park. Though the main house was destroyed and the beautiful farmlands and gardens of the old Hammersmith estate are now overgrown by trees and underbrush, the State park still offers a wide field for kites and picnics, woodsy trails for exploring and viewing the old Carriage House and Tower, and a long stretch of rocky shore for fishing, climbing, shell collecting, or just relaxing. [1]