About LA Farge Perry House
History of the inn
La Farge Perry House was built in 1853 by a Mr. Agassiz, a member of the same family who developed the building which is now the Inn at Castle Hill. In 1861, the house was purchased by John La Farge, the renowned painter and stained glass artist, and his wife Margaret Mason Perry. They are the namesake for which our house is named after.
John La Farge is credited with reinventing the art of stained glass. He was awarded several patents for his new methods involving the use of opalescent glass. His stained glass is exhibited in Trinity Church in Boston, in the Smithsonian Institute as well as many museums and private collections. He also is responsible for much of the interior decoration of the Congressional Church in Newport. Several stained glass works can be found at La Farge Perry House as reproductions of the famous stained glass were done by Richard Edar, a local stained glass artist.
John's wife, Margaret Mason Perry, was the granddaughter of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. He was a famous Newport naval hero, known for the Battle of Lake Erie, where he defeated the British during the War of 1812. The Oliver Perry guest room was designed to evoke the feeling of a naval commodore's quarters. There is also a painting of the Battle of Lake Erie, displayed above the mantle in the guest room.
Margaret was the grand niece of Matthew Calbraith Perry, who was also a famous naval hero. He was responsible for negotiating the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854, which established trade and diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Thus, the Matthew Perry guest room is decorated with Asian influences to commemorate this historic negotiation bringing the two nations together.
The La Farge family eventually sold the house four years after purchasing it, in 1865. Their important legacies live on today at our historic inn, La Farge Perry House.
Meet the Innkeeper
As a Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) alumni, Paula James brings more than 25 years of an award-winning design and communications background into the world of luxurious hospitality. With the very same keen eye for detail and a genuine appreciation for meeting people from all walks of life, Paula has thrived in the hospitality sector with boundless enthusiasm.
Starting with our sister property, The Chanler at Cliff Walk in Newport, Paula worked as Evening Hostess of The Spiced Pear, the hotel’s Forbes 4-star fine dining restaurant. From there, Paula went on to the prestigious Forbes 15-star hotel and resort at The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI, as their first outside appointed concierge, before returning to The Chanler and La Farge Perry House as Innkeeper.
Paula was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and spent summers on Cape Cod and the Islands. She later chose Newport and Aquidneck Island to raise her two sons. By chance, Kay Street, where La Farge Perry House is located, was always a favorite drive of hers, known for its beautiful tree-lined street, magnificent residences and close proximity to town.
“To think that I am Innkeeper at La Farge Perry House, on the exact street I so long admired, is really a dream come true. It is a pleasure and honor to serve as steward for this fine estate. For those that knock on our historic doors, if only for one night or for several, we welcome you with open arms and a warm smile - to your home away from home.”