Berkeley House collection, circa 1881 – 1895

Historical Note
Berkeley House is located at 1 Berkeley Avenue in Newport, RI. It is a brick, Queen Anne cottage built in 1884-1885 for LeRoy King of Newport and New York. It was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White. It replaced a smaller wood structure that stood on the corner site of Berkeley and Bellevue Avenues.

LeRoy King (1857-1895) was the son of Edward King and a member of the extended King family that amassed a fortune in the China Trade. Other Kings include Dr. David King (Muenchinger-King building), Edward King (King Senior Center), David King Jr. (Kingscote), George Gordon King (Edgehill) and the artist Charles Bird King. At one time the Kings were the largest land owners, ever, in Newport. LeRoy King also built the King block of shops adjacent to the Newport Casino.

The house remained in one family for one hundred years. It passed from LeRoy King to his wife Ethel Rhinelander King, then to their children including Ethel King Russell, then to her son John Stephen Howland Russell. It is presently a three family dwelling.

1876: Atlas shows a corner lot with a wood house owned by Eliza T. Goffe, widow of John Goffe, adjacent to larger lot owned by Edward King.
1878 August 2: Deed transferred from Eliza T. Goffe to Mary King, David King, Jr. and LeRoy King, trustees under the will of Edward King, for $10,500, Land and improvements(LE 49:460).
1883: Atlas shows owner as LeRoy King, 50,673 sq. ft. wood house on corner, larger lot.
1884: Wood house moved to south end of lot or demolished. November 22 1885 The Newport Mercury reports that plans have been drawn for a new brick villa and the foundation has been poured.
1884-1885: House erected. Plans by McKim, Mead, and White. William Underwood, contractor.
1893: Altas shows owner as LeRoy King, 50,673 sq. ft. Brick house on corner, wood house to south.
1895: LeRoy King dies.
1907: Atlas shows owner as Ethel R. King, 53, 877 square feet, same.
1921: Atlas shows owner as Ethel R. King, same.
1925: Ethel R. King dies. House is passed to heirs.
1971: Ethel King Russell dies. House is willed to son, John Howland Russell.
1984: House sold to Josiah and Diana Bunting.


Lippincott, Bert. (2006 February 23). Berkeley House. (Institutional House History). Newport Historical Society, Newport, RI.
Scope and Content
This collection contains 4 architectural drawings and specifications, personal artwork, and household receipts related to LeRoy King and his residence, Berkeley House. The receipts, which make up a bulk of the collection, are a comprehensive view into the work and life of running a household and being a part of Newport Society at the turn of the 20th century. The business of everyday life is cataloged and recorded with local and national vendors, purveyors and service providers, including Western Union Telegraph Co., Caswell Massey and Co., McKim, Mead, and White, the Old Colony Steamboat Co., and the Newport Daily News. Also represented are memberships to social, intellectual and religious institutions including Trinity Church, Redwood Library, the Newport Business Men's Association, and The Newport Natural History Society. Receipts of administrative business are present including taxes and fees to the City, utility bills, servant wages, house maintenance, and horse care. Also included are two notes of received payment from Edward R. Wharton, husband of Edith Wharton.