House on a Rock

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. “

Matthew 7:24-27

Clingstone, an unusual, 103-year-old mansion in Rhode Island ‘s Narragansett Bay , survives through the love and hard work of family and friends. Henry Wood, the owner, runs the house like a camp: all skilled workers welcome. The Jamestown Boatyard hauls the family’s boats and floating dock and stores them each winter in return for a week’s use of the house in the summer.

Mr. Wood, a 79-year-old Boston architect, bought the house in 1961 for $3,600. It had been empty for two decades. Clingstone had been built by a distant cousin, J.S. Lovering Wharton. Mr. Whartonworked with an artist, William Trost Richards, to create a house of picture windows with 23 rooms on three stories radiating off a vast central hall.

The total cost of the construction, which was completed in 1905, was $36,982.99

There are 10 bedrooms at Clingstone, all with “indecently beautiful views.”

The house is maintained by an ingenious method: the Clingstone work weekend. Held every year around Memorial Day, it brings 70 or so friends and Clingstone lovers together to tackle jobs like washing all 65 of the windows. Anne Tait, who is married to Mr. Wood’s son Dan, refinished the kitchen floor on one of her first work weekends.

Sign by the ladder that leads to the roof reads: No entry after three drinks or 86 years of age. “It used to say 80 but we had a guy on a work weekend who was 84, so I changed it,” said Mr. Wood, ever the realist. It would have been a shame to curtail the activities of a willing volunteer!


A friend sent me an email featuring this cool house!! I do not know the source of the original text of the article, but most photos can be found, here.


  1. I’ve decided I am moving into this house. Of course, the current owners do not realize this YET! LOL That is absolutely amazing! 😀

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