Have you ever wondered about the ruins along Scarborough Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island? These mysterious remnants have captured the hearts and imaginations of locals and tourists alike for generations. In this article, we delve into the rich history of the Scarborough Beach Ruins, otherwise known as the Windswept Mansion.
The Beginnings of the Scarborough Beach Ruins
The Scarborough Beach Ruins were once a magnificent mansion built in 1885 by a wealthy businessman, Edmund Davis. Davis was extremely wealthy because of the success of his father’s business. Perry Davis was Edmund’s father and he was known for creating “Perry Davis’s Vegetable Pain Killer” which was a mix of opium and alcohol. It was the first remedy for chronic pain and became extremely popular at the time for people hoping to treat colic, cholera, dysentery, and other problems. He made a fortune from the medicine and his fortune was passed down to Edmund.
Edmund commissioned the construction of the Windswept Mansion as a summer home for his family. The mansion was designed to be a grand and luxurious retreat, complete with stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding countryside. It featured a whopping 21 rooms that included 5 bedrooms, a kitchen, laundry and pantry, living spaces, and servants’ quarters. Windswept was one of the largest homes in the area at the time.
From Home to Restaurant
After over 40 years of being owned and loved by the Davis family, the mansion was eventually sold. Elizabeth Foster Stewart sold Paul and Alfred Castiglione the estate in 1939. The Town of Narragansett valued the property at $45,000 and it now spanned 18 acres. The property was going to be used as a restaurant, according to the Castigliones.
Cobb’s by the Sea’s menu offered broiled filet mignon for $2.25, broiled lobster for $1.75, and a Sunday supper for $1.25 that included a choice of soup, juice, salad, and a lobster patty along with two seasonal vegetables, dinner rolls, dessert, and coffee. The term “Cobbs Restaurant” was painted in bold white letters on the carriage house top, according to locals. A representation of the house could be seen on the menu cover.
Changing Hands and Burning Down
The Lownes family purchased the property in 1952. Many locals know the home as being the home where the Lownes’ lived. They enjoyed the home for many years but eventually stopped spending much time there. During its latter years, vandals harmed the vacant property and set fire to it three times in a row. The home was damaged the first two times but was repaired, but the third fire completely destroyed it. In 1974, the home was demolished.
In order to prevent the area from being built for opulent condominiums, the State of Rhode Island purchased the property in 1980. It is now part of public land and is known as Black Point. The Black Point Trail leads visitors right to the ruins. For this reason, the old home ruins on Scarborough Beach are sometimes also referred to as the Black Point Ruins.
- Year Established: 1985
- Year Abandoned: 1974
- Original Function: Summer mansion for the Davis family