The mansion where generations of DeWolfs and Colts entertained movie stars and presidents is now a historic house museum. It is available for tours or special events...and should not be missed. The grounds are filled with statuary and wonderful old trees. A carriage house is available for special events.
When we visited for the holiday house tour, the dining room sparkled for the event. An enormous crystal chandelier hung over the table which was set with place cards for all the various movie stars who have visited during the private ownership of the mansion. All names that everyone knows from the golden age of classic movies...from Bogart to Hepburn.
There is a circular staircase that is a work of art in itself.
A gift shop is located at the side of the music room and parlor.
Portuguese homes of Bristol
The housing stock is modest in this area of Bristol. These homes were built in order to house the many immigrants who came to work the mills and the waters of this waterfront town. Some of the homes are two family buildings...perhaps the parents on one floor and the offspring on the other, when they marry. Sometimes people are unrelated but living in a similar property. This home was on the garden tour not because of the beauty of the house, but the amazing gardens behind and beside it. The second photo and my travelogues will show the arbors and gardens.
These homes are vastly different from the Greek Revival mansions built along the main street...but they reflect the lives of the people who worked the shores and built the boats of Bristol.
COLT STATE PARK
The beautiful bronze statues of the Colt bulls guard the entrance to the Colt State Park which is a 464 acre gorgeous park on Mt. Hope Bay. There are picnic sites and open areas where kite experts challenge one another's abilities. It's worth a drive through to see the many flowering bushes and trees. You can ride the bike path right through the middle of it...or follow any of the footpaths scattered throughout. Samuel Colt bought several farms in 1902 and created Colt Farm. There is a 1917 dairy barn and a beautiful stone bridge which was the world's largest privately owned bridge at the time it was built in 1913. The park is definately worth the visit. Spend some time walking the shoreline...or fishing.
Coggeshall Farm Museum
Adjacent to Colt State Park is the Coggeshall Farm Museum which is a living outdoor museum which dates to the 1790's. Sheep, chickens and cattle roam the grounds. Massive oxen handle the heavy work. There is an heirloom garden, a blacksmith shop and the original farm homestead. Events take place throughout the year...with demonstrations of sheep shearing and early crafts. Wonderful place for children to visit.
Poppasquash Rd off Route 114
Rogers Free Library 1877
This 1800's brownstone library has served Bristol well for many years. Great architecture...but unfortunately too small to contain the growing collections and activities. Thank goodness people are still using these old libraries. The library will be getting a new addition soon....attached with a glass walkway from the original building to the space next door. Right now there is a big hole in the ground, but I'll tune in later with updates on the new structure. Hoping it is done well with the rest of the streetscape.