The house at Clouds Hill was built as a wedding gift for Elizabeth Ives Slater on her marriage to Alfred Augustus Reed, Jr. In 2000, Clouds Hill opened its doors to offer the public a "portal to the past" - an opportunity to experience late nineteenth century life in a home that had never passed out of the original family's stewardship. That stewardship descended through four generations in the hands of the oldest female. In 2004, Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (EIN: 26-0118321).
Anne, Museum President and curator, graciously invites you to visit her family home.
The home was designed by William Walker & Sons, designer of many Rhode Island buildings, including most of the armories. Fireplace surrounds were carved by Charles Dowler, who came to the United States to produce arms for the Civil War; today some of his pieces are in other museums. Visitors from around the world have found this house to be one of the best examples of Victoriana, “surpassing even the Bellevue Avenue manors in terms of authenticity of its contents”. The family had the forethought to keep all of the records of the building of the house and the purchase of its contents. A few of the notables in the family line include Roger Williams, Zachariah Allen, Samuel Slater, and Anne “Nancy” Allen Holst, first female fire chief in the world.
In December 2014, Clouds Hill (a.k.a. Cedar Hill) was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The museum house is highlighted by the architecture and interior finish and furnishings, and other collections include textiles, with family articles dating back to the 1870s; porcelain, including the dinner set used by Elizabeth and her family; and much more. The carriage museum houses more than 12 carriages, including a gypsy wagon from the mid-1800s, and related accessories. The property on which the house sits has been referred to as the West Bay arboretum and is the home to more than 70 species of trees and shrubs - tree walks begin at the Center for the Outdoors.
Museum Director, Paul F. Miller wants you to know that “Clouds Hill represents that rarest of architectural gems, a perfectly intact period house with original contents, archives and contextual setting; further blessed with important family historical associations and interiors of national significance”
“Clouds Hill is a major treasure architecturally and with its tremendous interiors and collections", says Richard Guy Wilson, Emeritus Professor, Architectural History, University of Virginia.
WHY IS CLOUDS HILL IMPORTANT?
This short video shares some of the reasons why.
Take a peek
Clouds Hill's mission is to preserve this iconic Rhode Island property, including its buildings, collections, and open space to educate future generations.
Clouds Hill's vision is high quality education of our visitors in history, arts, and natural environment, so that we may enrich the lives of those in our community and inspire future generations.
Clouds Hill's goals include the preservation of our buildings and open space so they remain available to the public; to provide educational programs; to remain a valuable partner to others in our community for years to come.