The Bells Abandoned Mansion In Rhode Island Is Full Of Mystery
Located on The Ocean Drive in Newport,
Brenton Point State Park is a lovely seaside spot with a couple of great hikes and stunning ocean views. But while you’re enjoying the rich natural landscape of this coastal park, you might come across something peculiar – abandoned mansions in Rhode Island! This territory also happens to be the home of The Bells in Newport, an abandoned mansion that remains shrouded in mystery to this day. The Bells has a murky and intriguing history and while it’s a bit of an eyesore now, at one time, it was magnificent.
Brenton Point State Park was established in 1976, so it stands to reason the mansion was there long before that point.
That being said, all it takes is one walk around the area to understand why someone would want to build a home here. Picturesque is an understatement for the beautiful coastal areas where The Bells is situated. It matches a lot of the famous Newport mansions, which were also built to capitalize on the stunning natural beauty of the Rhode Island shores.
The Bells, which was originally known as The Reefs, was constructed in 1876.
It was built for lawyer and copper magnate Theodore M. Davis, who called it his dream home. Like many in the Newport area, he would flee to the coast to unwind from the pressures of corporate life. Newport society was dominated by the wealthy who used their vacation homes (enormous mansions) to play while they were out of the city.
Davis filled the rooms of the mansion with artifacts he collected from his travels around the world, including some impressive (and practically priceless) Egyptian artifacts.
The property felt like a living, breathing museum reflecting the interesting life and adventures its owner had experienced. When Davis died in 1915, the Budong family purchased the mansion. They lived here until 1928 when they divorced.
The property was actually seized during World War II so that a defense battery could be built on the land.
After the war, the government gave the property back, but the Budongs simply abandoned it. With their marriage over, they had no desire to return to the scene of so much emotional difficulty. No one ever lived here again, and no one knows what happened to some of Davis' treasures.
Unfortunately, a fire destroyed most of the property in 1960.
Two years later, the wrecked mansion was torn down. All that remains is the ruins of the carriage house and stables. It's a tragedy that such a beautiful piece of architecture, which was such a sanctuary for its original owner would come to such an end. It's an especially stark contrast to the other Newport Mansions which are preserved and toured by visitors to the town, enriching everyone's understanding of Gilded Age history.
It's sad to think that this crumbling structure was once a regal dream house filled with ancient artifacts.
The remnants of the Newport abandoned mansion are definitely haunting, and it makes you wonder why the property was simply left to fade away. Though it may have been abandoned by the owners, the property has been discovered by local graffiti artists who have used the haunting interior as a canvas for their vibrant street-style works.
For some unique footage of the Bells abandoned mansion, check out this YouTube video by Jason Allard:
Have you visited this Brenton Point State Park abandoned building? Or, have you discovered any more abandoned mansions in Rhode Island? Let us know in the comments, we love to hear about your travel adventures.
Rhode Island’s abandoned places with these hiking trails that lead to long-forgotten buildings and structures. Stay up to date on all trail info with AllTrails+.
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More to Explore
Abandoned Places In Rhode Island
What are some abandoned places in Rhode Island?
After visiting The Bells, check out these equally eerie
abandoned sites in the state.
Pawtucket/Central Falls Train Station
Harris Avenue Mill in Providence
The Ladd School in Exeter
Fort Wetherill in Jamestown
Are there any hiking trails in Rhode Island that lead to abandoned places?
It's funny you should ask because Rhode Island does indeed have several great hikes that will take you to old ruins. Here are a few hiking trails in Rhode Island that lead to abandoned places:
Explore Rhode Island
Brenton Point State Park, Ocean Drive, Newport, RI 02840, USA