Brown Selling Mansion for $2.5M — Links to Moses Brown, Richest Woman in America and Bravest Dog

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

 

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Hoppin Mansion, Benefit Street, PHOTO: Library of Congress

Brown University is selling Hoppin Mansion at 383 Benefit Street for $2.5 million.

The home twists through Rhode Island history. It is 16,000 square feet and offers more than 30 parking spaces, but the history of the edifice is as rich as any structure in Providence.

“This is one of the largest and most elegant houses built in Providence in the mid-nineteenth century, and was at that time, a center of artistic and social life in the city,” according to the Library of Congress.

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More than that, the house and the property were linked to one of the richest women in America, the state's most famous families and to one of the bravest dogs.

The mansion is steeped in history, according to historical documents at the Library of Congress. “Original and subsequent owners: On this spot in 1798 stood the Mansion House of John Inness Clark—a three-story wood house almost the duplicate of the Nightingale house now standing at 357 Benefit Street. In 1823 Lydia Clark, his widow sold to William Almy “[a] lot of land with buildings thereon being the Mansion House of my late husband John I. Clark," according to the Library.

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Now on the market for $2.5M PHOTO: GoLocal

Richest Woman in America

William Almy married Sarah Brown, the daughter of Moses Brown. Their daughter Anna married William Jenkins, a manufacturer. At this time Anna Jenkins was the"'richest woman in America," according to filings with the Library of Congress.

Bravest Dog

The original Clark House was destroyed by fire which broke out on the evening of November 20th, 1849; the house was then owned by Mrs. Jenkins and her family. Mrs. Jenkins perished with her youngest daughter.

Her oldest daughter Ann Jenkins survived and married Thomas F. Hoppin, one of the artistic sons of Auton House (Westminster St.). He built the present Hoppin Villa.

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Hoppin's Sentinel Dog

The bronze dog that once graced the front lawn of the home was designed by Mr. Hoppin and cast by Gorham (supposedly the first bronze cast in the country). It represented the watchdog that, on the night of the Clark Mansion fire, broke his chain to warn the family. That statue has been moved to Roger Williams Park

Brown most recently used the building for The Annenberg Institute for School Reform, "a national policy-research and reform support organization that promotes quality education for all children, especially in urban communities."

The city values the property at over $7 million; Brown paid no taxes on the property as a nonprofit. 

Brown University is selling Hoppin Mansion at 383 Benefit Street for $2.5 million.

The home twists through Rhode Island history. It is 16,000 square feet and offers more than 30 parking spaces, but the history of the edifice is as rich as any structure in Providence.

“This is one of the largest and most elegant houses built in Providence in the mid-nineteenth century, and was at that time, a center of artistic and social life in the city,” according to the Library of Congress.

 
 

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