Ivy Lodge was once a 19th century farm house, owned by Civil War General James Henry Van Alen from New York. General Van Alen sold it because he didn’t think the house was arranged well for his family's summer purposes. In 1886, the farm house was bought by Dr. Satterlee. Brigadier General James H. Van Alen (right) who originally purchased the Ivy Lodge property in 1880, had come from a distinguished New York family that owned much of the land in the Hudson Valley. The General also owned a number of lots and properties with buildings in Newport. He spent several summers before 1886 at the property on Clay Street before selling to Dr. Satterlee.
The improvements made by Dr. Satterlee modernized the building extensively, along with a modern kitchen, sinks throughout, and laundry in the basement. The luxurious updates created an elegant structure that lent itself to being called one of the historic “Cottage Mansions” of Newport. The alterations and improvements were designed and executed by Mr. J. D. Johnston, the architect and builder, of which he added one more to the many pretty “cottages” he had erected in Newport. It was recorded that the golden oak entry hall of Ivy Lodge was designed by Stanford White, the noted architect of the turn of the century. The design of the entry is breathtaking, and is the original entry you see today. It is finished in old English oak up to the peak of the roof and is about 33 feet from floor to ceiling; the walls are paneled. There is no plaster in any part of the hall. The heavy beams of the roof are exposed and produce an effect from the floor below. The staircase is an elegant piece of work and is seen in every detail from the lower hall. In 1905 May Brady Hall bought the property from Dr. Satterlee. She subsequently married Herbert M. Harriman, cousin of Averill Harriman at Ivy Lodge in the summer of 1908. Following her death in 1930, the property exchanged hands numerous times. One particular owner, Clarence R. Beyer was the Commander of the Naval War College. Then in 1984 Jerry and Christine Harrington bought the 12 Clay Street property and opened Ivy Lodge as a bed and breakfast that has continued to the present. Don and Jacqui bought the Lodge in 2014 and have enjoyed every part of the experience; the meeting of so many wonderful guests, the glorious surroundings, the passion for its history and all of Newport’s fabulous sweet spots that are literally at every corner. “We want to make the Ivy Lodge, a romantic home away from home for so many, and believe that this beautiful structure, that we are current stewards of, will continue carrying its romantic charm and spirit to all those who enter”.
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