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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