My mom, brother and I spent the afternoon in Bristol, RI at the Blithewold Mansion and Gardens. A fascinating and tragic story surrounds this beautiful mansion. In 1895, Augustus Van Wickle and his wife, Bessie Pardee Van Wickle, purchased 70 acres of waterfront land in Bristol, RI and named it Blithewold (Old English for “happy woodland”). Only two years later, Augustus was killed in a skeet shooting accident. His wife remarried four years later and they continued to summer here. Then in 1906 the entire mansion burnt to the ground and had to be completely rebuilt. Kind of a sad story… However, amazing wildlife and plant life surrounds this mansion because Bessie was very interested in unique horticulture.
All in all, an amazing day and definitely worth the drive out to Bristol if you are in the Rhode Island/Massachusetts area!