The Ongoing Mystery Of Who Really Built the Newport Tower

By | July 10, 2018

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The Newport Tower (also known as: Round Tower, Touro Tower, Newport Stone Tower and Old Stone Mill), Rhode Island, USA, circa 1960. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

In Newport, Rhode Island, there stands a curious ancient structure. Known as the Newport Tower, the structure stands on eight legs linked by arches and all constructed of uncut native stone that was carefully and masterfully mortared together. Holes in the stone seem to indicate that wooden beams were once used to create a second floor inside the building but the wood is long gone. There are also four windows and a fireplace build into the east wall. The tower does not look like any other structure in New England. Many residents of the area claim that the Newport Town pre-dates European settlements in the area. Still, others say it was built by America’s best-known traitor, Benedict Arnold, at the time of the American Revolution. The Newport Tower is a mysterious structure and, like any good mystery, there are a number of suspects of who could have built the tower. 

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Was it Benedict Arnold?

Before he infamously sold out the young United States to the British in Revolutionary War times, Benedict Arnold was the governor of Rhode Island. In his 1677 will, he used the Tower as a landmark to show where he wanted to be buried and to indicate the parcel of land he wanted to bequeath to his wife. Records show Arnold owned the land on which the Newport Tower sits from 1651 to 1678, the year of his death, but there is no evidence that he build the tower. Still, many people claim that he constructed the tower and that is was originally a mill.