Postcard Portsmouth RI Coal MinePortsmouth, RI Coal Mine


PORTSMOUTH, RI - Most golfers at Carnegie Abbey Club are unaware that the water used to irrigate the golf course comes from miles and miles of abandoned coal mines running east/west from Narragansett Bay to East Main Rd. and north/south from Portsmouth town hall and to Melville Marina.  Today, the mines contain an estimated 400 million gallons of fresh water. Carnegie Abbey's original developer briefly considered bottling this fresh water under a private Carnegie Abbey label. 


In the early 19th century they were teeming with men and mules mining coal to fuel America's industrial revolution. The mules hauled the coal bins in and out of the…

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I married into a family of native Newporters descended from the European immigrants who worked in Newport's mansions.  As I result, I have heard many amazing stories about Newport's gilded age families.  Among my favorites are my husband Paul's recollections of Elizabeth Parke Firestone and his visits to her Newport, RI Firestone Estate, Ocean Lawn. 

After her husband died, Mrs. Firestone (a.k.a Betty) summered alone at Ocean Lawn, a sprawling 1888 Peabody & Stearns mansion overlooking the water on the corner of Narragansett Avenue and Cliff Walk. She was the widow of the late Harvey Firestone, Jr., son of the founder of Firestone Tire. 

In those days, Mrs. Firestone didn't get out much, but she enjoyed a little sherry and conversation with…

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