Kinney Bungalow was built in 1899 by Francis S. Kinney, a tobacco and real estate millionaire, in order to host parties, especially following polo matches. Its design is strongly influenced by East Indian style, perhaps a taste he acquired from his younger years as a sailor.
He and Abbot Kinney, his younger brother, had founded Kinney Brothers Tobacco Company, one of the leading cigarette manufacturers in the late nineteenth century. Eventually they merged their company with others into the “tobacco trust” organized by James Buchanan Duke (father of the late Newport heiress and socialite, Doris Duke). Before it was broken up by government anti-trust laws, the American Tobacco Company had more than ninety percent of the the U.S. market. Abbot Kinney had fallen in love with Venice, Italy in his youth, so he went on to found Venice, California as a resort and amusement center. Francis Kinney invested in real estate and was very involved in the polo matches in Narragansett.
Following Kinney’s death, Kinney Bungalow was purchased by the Chase/Ewing family. It was the site of numerous dances, parties, and celebrations. Lucia Chase Ewing, co-founder of the American Ballet Theater, brought the troupe to Narragansett where the Bungalow served as their summer rehearsal site.
In 1991 the Bungalow, along with historic Sunset Farm, was acquired by the Town of Narragansett.
The Narragansett Land Trust plays a critical role in ensuring the continued operation of Kinney Bungalow at Sunset Farm.
Establishment and Mission
The Trust was established in 1986 to preserve open land in the largely developed Town of Narragansett, Rhode Island. It consists of a nine member citizen board and currently manages more than 500 acres of preserved space.
Sunset Farm and Kinney Bungalow
The major purchase of Sunset Farm and Kinney Bungalow added not just 114 acres of land; it also added historic preservation to the mission. The farm property has now grown to approximately 200 acres with the addition of land donations by adjoining property owners.
Anyone wishing to donate land to the Trust, please contact the Narragansett Community Development office at 401-782-0631.