What Cheer Hall


A step back in time to the early 1800’s greets the visitor who enters What Cheer Hall. The house was constructed in 1812 of native limestone in the Georgian Federal four-square style. The interior retains 19th century features such as the “”flying staircase””, Rumford fireplaces, Adam style mantels, fanlight windows, Yale door locks, and wide plank floors. For 20th century comfort we have added a goose down sofa with pillows, comfortable mattresses on antique beds, candlelight and nosegays, china and silver, collections and quilts, private baths, a glassed-in porch, TV and VCR. The extensive lawns accommodate strolling and croquet.

What Cheer Hall was the Newport village home built by Benjamin Bowen who came from Rhode Island with the financial backing of his brothers, Dr. William Bowen and Ephraim Bowen Esq. to establish a saw mill, a grist mill, a distillery, and the Newport Cotton Manufacturing Co. along the banks of the West Canada Creek using a dam and diversion canal. His daughter Lydia aquired the property through inheritance and the property was subsequently passed down through the generations of her oldest stepson, Standish Barry Jr., until 1944. Since then the house has had a new family about every ten years.

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