The Old Stone Mill is considered to be one of history's mysteries. There is quite a lot of speculation as to who built it and why. One of the most popular theories is that it was built by Norseman, predating even Columbus' voyage, but others claim that it's a windmill built sometime in the 17th century by the first governor of Newport, Benedict Arnold. Whichever may be true, the structure is quite impressive and mystical once you get up and close.
The Old Stone Mill is located in Touro Park with nice benches, statues, memorials as well as some limited views of the Bay.
While we were visiting there were a few children running in and out of the mill as well as a few couples just enjoying a nice day out.
Inside Touro Park is what has been called the "Mystery Tower". At one point the theory was that it was built by Norse explorers hundreds of years before Columbus arrived in 1492. The current theory is that it is a tower for a windmill built by Benedict Arnold the great-grandfather of the infamous General Benedict Arnold from the Revolutionary War. Other theories include Chinese, Portuguese and Templar Knights as the builders of the tower.
The Newport Tower is a circular tower that stands 28 foot tall and 24 foot wide. The stone structure has with eight arches and no roof. The tower has undergone much scientific scrutiny that has determined the tower was most likely constructed by the first colonial governor of Rhode Island, Benedict Arnold, the great grandfather of famous traitor Benedict Arnold. Arnold the elder had a mansion nearby, and it is said he built the tower as a mill around 1670. This would be the 31st oldest surviving building in the United States, and about the 23rd oldest structure built by English settlers.
The origin of the tower is open to much debate. Researchers and pseudohistorians have speculated the origin of the tower could be Norse, Norwegian, Swedish or possibly even Chinese. The tower does have several unique architectural features that indicate it may have been used as a defensive fortification, an astrological observatory, or an ancient church and the date of original construction may have been between 1000 and 1500 AD.
The Old Stone Mill in Touro Park definitely stands out. The round stone structure is quite interesting to look upon. There is great debate over who built the structure and why.
One theory is it was built during colonial times to replace a wooden mill destroyed by a hurricane. Supposedly the great grandfather father of Benedict Arnold constructed the mill.
Another theory is that Vikings that explored the area built the mill and it was later used by colonials that settled the area.
Some other theories include the Templar Knights and exploreres from Portugal.
The Viking idea sounds good to me but I'm partial to Vikings.
Well, maybe it's not a MUST SEE activity, but I kid of liked this monument and what it involves. The thing is that this strange tower has no official builder. It was made a long time ago, before Newport was even founded!!! Some say that the Vikings made it (?!). I'm still trying to figure it out...