© Author Adventures

Rosecliff Mansion, Living History of Fitzgerald’s Gilded Age

Newport is where you can discover the Gilded Age in all its historic glory. Of the many spectacular mansions, we selected the Rosecliff Mansion for the Rhode Island Author Adventures Trail because its interiors and exteriors were included in the 1974 film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby and are emblematic of the lifestyle F. Scott Fitzgerald vividly captured in his trailblazing book. The Great Gatsby is now available in the public domain.

Its original owner was Theresa Fair Oelrichs, a Nevada silver mine heiress and socialite. According to privatenewport.com: “The Nevada silver heiress required a showpiece for her Newport ‘cottage’ and the opulent parties she envisioned for the summer social season. Architect Stanford White created an exquisite house, clad in gleaming white terra cotta tiles delicately adorned with cascades of flowers and musical instruments.”

Of all of the mansions in Newport, Rosecliff has the largest ballroom, which was used in the Great Gatsby film. It also features the sweet sweeping staircases reminiscent of a romanticized past. The ballroom is similar to one at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida, which was modeled after Rosecliff’s. Both remain popular choices for weddings.

Newport’s population of approximately 25,000 is comparable to a hundred years ago at the initial zenith of its reputation as a prestigious home and vacation area. Some of the wealthiest and most elite US dynasties of the early 20th century enjoyed its spoils.

Breakers Ballroom, Palm Beach ©Author Adventures
© Author Adventures

Read more about F. Scott Fitzgerald places to visit through the following Author Adventures pages, including his residences, archives, and hangouts:

On the Path

Rosecliff Mansion in Newport is the last stop of our Rhode Island Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart