American Aristocracy

American Aristocracy


This early Douglas Fairbanks vehicle includes scenes shot at Ocean House in Westerly.

The 136-year-old Ocean House and its property were sold in 2004 to financier Charles Royce, who had planned to restore the hotel for continued operation. But the cost of restoration proved to be prohibitive, so the building was torn down in 2005. The contents of the hotel were not included in the original sale and were auctioned off on November 27, 2004. Included among the items for sale were some of the dozens of chairs that can be seen lining the porch of Ocean House in American Aristocracy.

Between 2005 and 2010, the hotel was rebuilt with modern materials and building methods.

The fifty-one minute film is silent. The opening card reads: "Has America an aristocracy? We say yes! And to prove it we take you to Narraport-by-the-Sea, where we find some of our finest families whose patents of nobility are founded on such deeds of daring as the canning of soup, the floating of soap, and the borating of talcum."

"Narraport" is a portmanteu of two of Rhode Island's most popular resort destinations in the 1910s—Narragansett and Newport.

Watch the full fifty-one-minute movie:

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