And on this Rock, I’ll build my house.

Wow! What a house!


  House on  the  Rock
 Clingstone,  is an unusual, 103-year-old  mansion in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, which survives through the  love and hard work of family and  friends.

  Henry  Wood, the owner, runs the  house
  like a  camp:  All skilled workers  welcome!   
The  Jamestown Boatyard hauls the  family’s
  boats and  floating dock and stores  them
  each  winter in return for a week’s use of the 
 house in  the summer.

Mr. Wood,  a 79-year-old Boston  architect,
  bought the  house with his ex-wife  Joan
  in 1961  for $3,600. It had been empty for

 two  decades.

Clingstone  had been built by a distant  cousin,
  J.S. Lovering  Wharton.
  Mr. Wharton worked with an  artist,
  William Trost Richards, to create a house
  of picture  windows with 23 rooms on  three
  stories  radiating off a vast central hall.

The total  cost of the construction, which was completed in  1905,
 was  $36,982.99!

  An early  sketch of the  house…
  Mr. Wood  is as proud as any parent  of
  his house,  and keeps a fat  scrapbook
  of  photographs and newspaper  clippings
  that  document its best  moments.
  Many of  the historic photos he has  were
  provided  by the company that  insured
  the house  for its original  owners.

The  Newport Bridge is visible from  the
  windows of  the Ping-Pong  room,
  to the  left of the  fireplace.

The house  is maintained by an ingenious  method:
  The  Clingstone “work  weekend.”
  Held every  year around Memorial  Day,
  it brings  70 or so friends and  Clingstone
  lovers  together to tackle jobs like  washing
  all 65 of  the windows.
  Anne Tait,  who is married to Mr. Wood’s  son
  Dan,  refinished the kitchen floor on  one
  of her  first “work  weekends.”

There are  10 bedrooms at  Clingstone,
  all with  indecently beautiful  views.

The dining  room table seats 14. 
  Refinishing  the chairs is a task on 
 the list  for a future “work  weekend.”


Sign by the ladder that leads to the roof reads:  No  entry after three drinks or 86 years of  age. “It used  to say 80 but we had a guy on a  ‘work  weekend’ who was 84, so I changed it,”  said Mr. Wood, ever the realist. “It would  have been a shame to curtail  the activities of a willing volunteer.”

    No lawn  to mow, no neighbors, no  solicitors, no busy streets,  no  traffic!!! My kind  of get-away!!!   




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