Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum
Blithewold is located on Narragansett Bay, 25 minutes east of Providence and 60 minutes south of Boston. It is a 33-acre summer estate that is nationally significant in American history as one of the most fully developed examples of the Country Place era. The property features a 45-room English-style manor mansion and a series of unique gardens.
Backstory and Context
The Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum includes a mansion, with a large lawn and over 300 species of woody plants in its arboretum and gardens, including both native and exotic species.
The Mansion and its grounds were established in the 1890s by Augustus and Bessie Van Wickle as their summer retreat. Augustus Van Wickle was from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, with a fortune in the coal-mining business. Today’s grounds are primarily the design of John DeWolf, and date between 1896 and 1913. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Blithwold's grounds include species from North America, Europe, China and Japan. Notably, the grounds include what is claimed to be the largest Giant Sequoia on the east coast. Planted in 1911, the tree is currently about 100 feet tall.