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House on a Rock: A dream Vacation House on the sea

Updated on February 3, 2010
Clingstone, an unusual, 103-year-old mansion in Rhode Island 's Narragansett Bay , survives through the love and hard work of family and friends.
Clingstone, an unusual, 103-year-old mansion in Rhode Island 's Narragansett Bay , survives through the love and hard work of family and friends.

Build me a home on the sea!


The story of the House on a Rock is a story passed on by friends. I happen to get hold of the story of the 103-year old mansion in Rhode Island from a forwarded e-mail. I find the story worth retelling because it talks about friendship, beauty and humor.

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.
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.
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.
The total cost of the construction, which was completed in 1905, was $36,982.99.
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 insur
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 insur
The Newport Bridge is visible from the windows of the Ping-Pong room, to the left of the fireplace.
The Newport Bridge is visible from the windows of the Ping-Pong room, to the left of the fireplace.
There are 10 bedrooms at Clingstone, all with indecently beautiful views.
There are 10 bedrooms at Clingstone, all with indecently beautiful views.
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.  http://groups.fro
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. http://groups.fro
The dining room table seats 14. Refinishing the chairs is a task on the list for a future work weekend.
The dining room table seats 14. Refinishing the chairs is a task on the list for a future work weekend.
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 t
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 t
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 curtai
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 curtai

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    • profile image

      radiantwriting 

      5 years ago

      Wow! This reminds me of the house in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Really interesting.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow this is an awesome place and I could not believe how many rooms it has. So big it was to be built on a rock. Oh -yes I would be so happy living here living off the sea to eat.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 

      6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      A real dream house and lovely pictures. Thank you.

    • franciaonline profile imageAUTHOR

      franciaonline 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi MFB,

      Another treasure here, wow!

      I love these lines:

      inundated with lore

      haunting mists round it creep

      high above as its crown

      sits a sparkling glass room

      like the finger of God ....

      Thanks, again, for leaving a poem here.

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 

      8 years ago from United States

      I Loved your Hub....it reminds me of a place I go to, it's location to remain unknown, and spend days writing....

      The Quest

      I've embarked on a quest

      past the shores of the Keys

      to an ancient gray column

      in the midst of blue seas

      squatting on an atoll

      made of teakwood and stone

      one of few places left

      where you're truly alone

      so many square feet

      in a vertical heap

      inundated with lore

      haunting mists round it creep

      high above as its crown

      sits a sparkling glass room

      like the finger of God

      beckoning souls from sure doom

      it's a mystical chamber

      on a gem capped rock tower

      though its beacon's long vanished

      I can still feel it's power

      its lure urges me climb

      winding stairs to its peak

      to the views so inspiring

      my heart cries out to speak

      at its center where strong rays

      once guided hopes home

      I sit gathering bright thoughts

      then shed light with each poem.....

      (c)-MFB III

    • franciaonline profile imageAUTHOR

      franciaonline 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi yenajeon,

      Yes, yenajeon, it can be scary if you live there but if you are just there on holidays with friends, I suppose the place will be paradise.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 

      8 years ago from California

      That is pretty cool! It seems kinda scary though... so much seclusion, since I'm a people person.

    • franciaonline profile imageAUTHOR

      franciaonline 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Cris,

      Good to know that you enjoyed the story. I found the house on a rock a poetic object itself and wished I had the time to write a poem about it. Nice of you to drop by!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I enjoyed every bit of the story. Yeah, I fancy a house on a rock somewhere myself. Would have to buy one of those wee islands in Lingayen :D

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