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Isaac Bailey Richmond House

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c. 1830, c. 1890 and later. Mid-19th century, barn. 59 South of Commons Rd.

The full impact of this farm complex, which has become a country seat, becomes apparent only from the adjacent field to the south, which it faces in a right-angled orientation to South of Commons Road. Isaac Richmond was a builder who settled in Little Compton after apprenticing with John Holden Greene in Providence. Eventually he built the original house as a retirement farm. His son, Joshua B. Richmond, who lived in Boston, converted it in the 1890s to a summer residence, giving it the same sort of lighthearted grandeur as the Manchester family achieved at the same time in altering their mid-nineteenth-century house on Sakonnet Point Road. The junior Richmond enlarged his father's house by adding a columned porch across the front and the superstructure of the elongated dormer with flanking pedimented windows, all topped by a pedimented cupola tucked between paired chimneys. He also made a water tower double as a view tower by capping it with an elevated gazebo toward the entrance end of the extensive barn complex, the sound engineering of its tapering sides possibly also intended as a nostalgic gesture toward Little Compton's disappearing windmills.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Isaac Bailey Richmond House", [Little Compton, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 494-495.

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