Mrs. Theresa Fair Oelrich built the mansion. She was a silver heiress. Maybe she though it was her job to use up all the money, because every summer she bestowed $12 million to balls for the neighborhood. She gave her first ball in her new “cottage” before it was completed, in 1900. She just covered all the unfinished parts with flowers and greenery. The mansion wasn’t complete until 1902. The house stayed in the Oelrich’s family until 1941. Mr. and Mrs. J. Edgar Monroe bought the house then. From New Orleans, they would come up to escape the hot summer in the South. The Monroe family threw parties, but they weren’t stiff and formal like Mrs. Oelrich’s. They were laid back. Most of their parties had a mardi gras theme. In 1971 Mr. and Mrs. Monroe gave the mansion to the Preservation Society of Newport County. Mr. Monroe visited the mansion until his death in 1991. The house still hosts events and a few movies have been filmed in the house.
Because this house was my favorite, we visited twice. The first time we took the tour and looked at everything. The second time I just took pictures. Of everything.