Sandy Point Farm started as the country estate for the Vanderbilt family - in this case, their famous house in Newport - The Breakers - was their "city" summer cottage! But the pressures of keeping up with the Jonese (or in this case, the Dukes, Astors and other members of Newport Society) made them desire an escape to the rural pleasures of Portsmouth. The Vanderbilts Sandy Point Farm was only about 6 miles north of the Breakers, so going back and forth was easy - either by horse and carraige or by motor car.
The original farm encompassed a few hundred acres from the present Wapping
Road all the way down to the Sakkonnet River and Sandy Point Beach. The original
gates are still visible at the corner of Wapping and Sandy Point.
Above - the Gates to the original Vanderbilt Sandy Point Farm
Many structures, roads and stone walls were erected on this estate, and quite a few remain to this day. A striking feature is an old clock tower (left) which juts out from an old stables and workshop. This tower was used to hang canvas fire hoses inside of - to dry. From what I am told, the Vanderbilts took care of some of the fire fighting needs of the surrounding area - mostly their own buildings, of course!
A poem about Sandy Point by a local resident
Back to Vanderbilt Stables Condominums at Sandy Point Beach, Portsmouth, RI