Mansions of the Gilded Age" During the Gilded Age, Newport was considered the premier resort location. All the other summer resorts took a back seat to Newport. I once read a story about comparing Newport to Southampton, which went something like this.
Two Newport Grand Dames are discussing a newcomer to Newport. Mrs. Vanderich tells Mrs. Highborn about a woman of recent wealth who approached her and asked her why she isn't being invited to any of the balls and parties or being included in Newport Society. The frustrated woman Mrs. Newbucks , goes on to mention, that she and her husband have rented an enormous villa on the ocean, she has her clothes made in Paris, an impeccable staff, brand new coaches with the finest horses and give the most elaborate balls, which are sparsely attended, and never by any of the best people. Mrs. Highborn, simply states, " I do not know why she thinks she can come to Newport and be accepted right away? , She really should try Southampton for a season or two, before attempting Newport!
A great story, but 100 years later, instead of Newport being on the front pages of the society columns, it's the Hampton's that's the epitome of style, wealth and chic. A friend who had traveled to China, recently told me, when asked where they came from, and said Southampton, going on to explain it's about 2 hours east of New York City, and is part of the Hampton's, didn't need to explain, since the shopkeeper knew all about it and wanted to hear more.
There is much more to tell about the two resorts and will post more in the coming weeks.
Some other links to Newport Mansions & Society
Behind The Hedgerow