Reprinted from the original booklet of 1889
A wild scheme! A bold venture! A capital idea, but not possible! Such was talk for weeks and the food argument throughout Rhode Island when it was known that the owner of “Rhoda-Ridge” had determined to transport his fine old country house from Narragansett Bay to the more prosperous shores of Conanicut Island. It was standing on a site of rare beauty, but since its erection social surroundings had undergone a marked change and the house had fallen into disuse. (On this same site is the new Wanumetonomy Golf and Country Club of Newport.)
Therefore, the owner said, as did Horace Greeley “Westward Ho!” to the newer town (Jamestown and help grow up that island becoming as famous as a summer resort). Amid constant discouragements, the many details were finally arranged, and what was termed a joke was fast taking form.
At last the ponderous load is on wheels, the “I” severed and left for a second trip, and the great house starts, like a thing of life, on its downward trip to the sea. Across the fields as the birds fly, over stonewalls, now down a decline of 60 degrees, born across marshes on sunken timbers, lifted aloft over railroad embankments,- until it stands on the sandy beach with the incoming tide awash its broad piazza.
The barges make ready for their strange load. The old “Reliance” lies at anchor with steam up. Gangs of men impatiently await the drop of tide. The under direction of Engineer Titus, a veteran in the business, wood piers are hastily thrown out. And it is haste, for even in our days of Yankee reckoning, the restless tide waits not for man,(That done, the house is rolled aboard with the same apparent ease as a bale of cotton trundled down a steamer’s plank.) She is “stowed” and, at the Commodore’s command, the moorings loose, and she starts out to sea sailing away like a yacht.
Flags and bunting fly from peak to sill, and the volume of cheers from the shore, attest the widespread interest taken in the successful launching of the novel ship. While now afloat Captain Sutton, the grey-bearded old “sea-horse”, is in command, and with his weather eye open, he cites in the distance dark clouds fast thickening up; and not to imperil his cargo, he puts into Newport Harbor for safety while his ship finds a berth alongside the great “Pilgrim”. And for one night certainly a palace steamer has a strange bedfellow. Next morning, with calm sea and favoring winds; they sail away to their destination, (A successful voyage and easy landing,-a delightful new abode.) And now we welcome you to the spacious rooms of “The Bay Voyage”.