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Richard Arthur Fenner

Member since: 2009
Call Owner
Speaks english

Welcome to the 17th Century

27 Reviews
Sleeps10
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights

Overview

Photos and Description of this Cranston holiday house

Enjoy the unique experience of sleeping under the same roof as early RI settlers

TO AVOID A 3% - 5% SURCHARGE YOU MAY PAY BY CHECK OR ACH TRANSFER.

Built in 1677 the Major Thomas Fenner House is the oldest home in the Providence Plantations and one of the few original “stone enders” in existence. The 2400 sqft 4 BD 2 BA home sits on 3 acres of land siding to Stone Pond. When you turn down the long driveway from a 1970s residential neighborhood you will find a tranquil setting among ancient trees bringing you back to a time of early colonial Rhode Island.

The home was built a few months after King Phillips War in which the settlers homes were burned to the ground. Originally built as a 2 ½ story 18.5” x 18.5” post and beam frame home on a fieldstone foundation with a massive stone fireplace. The original fire room, sleeping chamber, attic and basement are very much as they were built. In the 1700s additions were added to the south and west and in the 1920s a dormer was put on giving it a Salt Box style and an indoor bathroom.

The home served as a residence, court, meeting house and tavern. Google Major Thomas Fenner Bear to see his original recipe for beer.

The Home was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 and is the jewel of early Rhode Island homes.

The current owner brought the home back into the Fenner Family in 2006 after a 90 year hiatus with the mission of continuing its preservation for another 330 years. In 2015 the owner decided to make the property available as a vacation rental to help it support itself and to allow the public and architectural and historical scholars greater access to the home. Eventually the home will be furnished with antiques and period reproduction furniture, but for now its furnishings are simply colonial. The home has been furnished in a manner to provide the ambience of a historic home while still providing it's guests a comfortable stay with the modern amenities (indoor plumbiung, four flat screen TVs wifi and alarm system), that don't interfere with the home's historic nature. Keep in mind this home may have been five star when built, but rustic is a better description today.

Among the architectural wonders of the house is the massive field stone chimney on the north side of the house which is why these homes are known as “stone enders”. The attic window to the left of the chimney is the size of the original windows which had trianglular panes of glass imported from England. The post and beam construction is of old growth virgin timbers. Check out the size of summer (wood beam over fireplace) by opening the door to the utility room and looking up to your left. This is also where the switch to the spot light that illuminates the fireplace uis located. The fireplace is 10 feet wide and over 5 ½ feet tall. To open and close the flue push up and pull down the metal bar visable on the right hand side of the fireplace. The granite beneath, in front of and siding fireplace is the original kitchen. A heavy metal bar can be seen by looking up the chimney. This was used to hang pots to cook as well as three legged pots sitting in the coals such as the one in the back left hand side of the fireplace. You can see where the beehive oven in the back of the chimney was stoned up as a result of two many women catching their dresses on fire while cooking. The large floor joists which can be seen in the basement were placed only 5 inches apart and those joists are given the credit for the home still standing after 338 years. In the attic can be seen the distinctive scars of lumber which has been “pit sawn”.

It was a new England tradion to gift newlyweds two sugar maples to plant in their backyard so they would have maple sugar for life. The maple trees behind the house were likely planted in the 2nd half of the 19th Century. When in the breakfast nook look out the window to your left to see the maple tree with the swing, then look at the photo next to the window with the two girls (Dolly and Ruth Stone) taken circa 1900. Same tree ... different swing. The branch the swing is hung from is dead so please don't use the swing. The pantry next to the breakfast nook has been moved from the left of the main fireplace, but it is the original 1677 pantry.

During a Standard Rate period reservations of less than 7 days will only be accepted within 30 days of occupancy or when it immediately proceeds or follows an existing reservation. Feel free to make an inquiry anyway, because I may have another guest I'm about to book immediately proceeding or following the dates you have requested.

As you can imagine a home of this age has some features unique to what guests might be used to. Some doorways are low, thresholds are high, steps are steep, and cracks in the 1677 wide plank flooring would make high heels a nightmare. A 1929 Elmsford gas stove is the centerpiece of the kitchen. The cooktop has an open pilot, so do not place anything flamable of top of the stove. The controls for the oven are on the right hand side of the stove.

Among the famous descendants of Major Thomas Fenner was Governor Arthur Fenner who was in office at the time Rhode Island ratified the Constitution. Rhode Island was the last state to do so because Governor Fenner held out until he was promised that the Bill of Rights would follow shortly thereafter. He was likely one of the Gaspee Raiders, but dodged a subpoena and was never formerly accused. His son, James Fenner was a US Senator who resigned his post to run for Governor of Rhode Island when his father died. James was a graduate of Brown University in 1789 and was #1 in his class. He was elected 7 times serving a total of 14 years.

Beautiful Fall Foliage in Rhode Island

Rhode Island shows its brightest colors in October. Western and northern Rhode Island are heavily wooded. Blackstone Valley region includes the towns of Pawtucket, home of Slater Mill, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. The Blackstone Valley Explorer river boat offers trips on the river into mid-October. Beautiful foliage will be on display at Roger Williams Park and Zoo in Providence; and at Blithewold Mansion & Gardens in Bristol. In South County, a great scenic drive is Route 1 and Route 1A from Westerly to Wickford. Rhode Island shows its brightest colors in October. Western and northern Rhode Island are heavily wooded. Blackstone Valley region includes the towns of Pawtucket, home of Slater Mill, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. The Blackstone Valley Explorer river boat offers trips on the river into mid-October. Beautiful foliage will be on display atRoger Williams Park and Zoo in Providence; and atBlithewold Mansion & Gardens in Bristol. In South County, a great scenic drive is Route 1 and Route 1A from Westerly to Wickford.

More Details
Suitability:
  • Events Allowed
  • long term rentals available
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Richard Arthur Fenner (Owner)
Member since: 2009
Call Owner
Speaks english

About Richard Arthur Fenner

Richard and Kathleen are originally East Coasters. Richard from New England and Kathy from Delaware. They are living in Southern CA now and work in residential Real Estate. They have one handsome son living and working in London in the political/economics field

Richard Arthur Fenner purchased this house in 1976

Why Richard Arthur Fenner chose Rhode Island Coastal

Richard has been involved in genealogy for a number of years which led to him learning of the existance of the Major Thomas Fenner House built by his 7th great grandfather Major Thomas and his father Capt. Arthur. He contacted the owners and let them know if they were ever to sell he would be interested. Even though the Home is on the Registry of Historic Places that does not provide protection. At the time the owner's were ready to sell there was also a developer looking to buy the property and build a condo complex in place of the House. The owner's picked a great time to sell to which means Richard picked a bad time to buy ... the peak of the Real Estate market in 2006. Anyway ... enough whining. He loves the House and hope you do too.

What makes this house unique

Absorb the ambience of living in the 1600s, but with modern bathrooms and kitchen. Spring in Rhode Island is a time of reawakening with trees budding, flowers emerging and bears awakening from their dens (just kidding). The summer months are generally delightful particularly when you have five A/C units for the occasional too hot and humid days. Rhode Island shows its brightest colors in October. Western and northern Rhode Island are heavily wooded. Blackstone Valley region includes the towns of Pawtucket, home of Slater Mill, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. The Blackstone Valley Explorer river boat offers trips on the river into mid-October. Beautiful foliage will be on display at Roger Williams Park and Zoo in Providence; and at Blithewold Mansion & Gardens in Bristol. In South County, a great scenic drive is Route 1 and Route 1A from Westerly to Wickford. Winters in Rhode Island are crisp and clear with a fair amount of snow. Luckily we have a plowing service to keep access to the property open at all times and a 2015 gas heating system with dual zone NEST thermostats to keep you comfortable when indoors.

Reviews

4.8
based on 27 traveller reviews

Welcome to the 17th Century
average rating of 4.7777777 based on 27 reviews
5

Impressive preserved history to live in!!!

  • 5 of 5

Wow! My family and I had the honor to be trusted to live in one of the oldest homes in the Providence Plantations!!! I grew up in New England (Rhode Island) and got to visit with my grammar school classmates, Old Sturbridge Village (1729) and Plymouth Plantations (1620) The Major Thomas Fenner house (1677) was so fun. Nice modern kitchen, and bathrooms. The rest of the house preserved and of which I only visited and toured and could only lean over the ropes to see much newer homes. The fireplace in the main part of the house is also amazing and we had the honor of having a fire in it every day. The floors, walls, beams and stonework is hard to believe it was carved out of New England wilderness 340 years ago!! And it survived King Phillips War, that was part of the Indian Wars. Our visit was an amazing look into what it must have been like when there was only wilderness in the United States from seas to shining sea!! Thank you for allowing my family to stay in your ancestral home!! It was an honor.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Nov 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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4

Amazing historical home

  • 4 of 5

We were a group of 8 adult family members coming together from 4 different states for a family wedding at the nearby Roger Williams Botanical Center. The Major Thomas Fenner house is so rich in character. The furnishings and decor transported you back to another time but without forfeiting any comfort. We all enjoyed the informational house tour guide while exploring the home and property. The spaciousness of the home allowed plenty of room for everyone.

The dining room was an intimate, well decorated space that allowed for our large group to comfortably share meals together.

It was quite a treat to cook using the Glenwood stove! The kitchen was well stocked with plenty of glassware, cookware and dishes. Part of the reason we chose to rent a home versus staying in hotels is to optimize our time together when we are able to get together in this fast paced world. This home made the weekend a very memorable one. If any future travels are to the Providence area, we would stay at this home without looking anywhere else!

  • Review Submitted: Oct 14, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for taking the time to give such a nice and detailed review. FYI the old church pews in the dining room were originally one long pew which we had resized to fit the table and two new "ends" created. Hope it was a wonderous wedding!
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5

Absolutely LOVED our time at the Fenner House!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed here last year and I regret never coming back to write a review - we couldn't have been happier with our stay at this charming, historic home. Our family of eight was completely comfortable, everything was clean, and the house was incredibly well-equipped. Our kids (and I!) had so much fun exploring the property, and the self-guided tour that the owners provide was fascinating for us all.

My husband grew up in Rhode Island and has brought us back multiple times to visit and enjoy the seasons that we just don't get here in Florida, where we live. Our intention was to bring the kids every *other* year, but they've been begging to come back - to THIS house - since we left. Oh, they love the fall leaves and the clam cakes & chowder and everything else that's so charming up there - but it's, "When are we going to go back to our Rhode Island house???" that we've been hearing ALL YEAR LONG. So, instead of waiting until next year - we've all got the itch and are booked again for this October. :) Spoiled kids...pushover Daddy. ;)

Richard we are so looking forward to staying there again! The experience of the house - even the SMELL they all remember so fondly (provided by the giant, beautiful fireplace) - is almost as exciting as the vacation itself. Thanks for providing a place for us to stay that holds such happy memories for us all!

  • Review Submitted: Sep 14, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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4

Rustic Home W/ Mod Amenities for 3cples and 2 sing

  • 4 of 5

This large historic house with modern amenities (electricity, 2 full bathrooms, functional kitchen, AC units, TV's and WiFi) had plenty of character and charm, including crooked doors and sloping floors. It was a bit dark inside, but made up for that with a beautiful huge front yard covered in vegetation and plenty of stumps to sit on.

We were visiting to attend our daughter's wedding celebration and loved the idea of staying together (instead of in separate hotel rooms.) Unfortunately, the listing falsely claims sleeping for 10 without further description; we had a problem because there were only 3 double beds and 2 single beds. Although this arrangement could sleep 8 if there were 4 couples, we were 2 couples and 4 singles. (No, the bride's grown brother, aunt and 2 adult cousins were not willing to sleep in the same bed.) None of the couches was long enough for a person (not to mention a tall young man) to sleep on, and the hard wood floors are... well, hard! The owner and his wife were little help. When I first called, the owner's wife told me I was mistaken to think the place slept 10; she then suggested I purchase an air mattress to use. When I told her I did not want to spend the money to do that, she said I should simply return it to Wallmart before we left town! Later, when I spoke with the owner, he let me know that some previous visitors purchased and left behind an air mattress we could use; although we found it, we could not find a pump and the upright vacuum cleaner was not the kind one could use for blowing up the mattress. Intent to not let this ruin our celebration, our son slept on the floor

  • Review Submitted: Aug 27, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Yes, the house is little dark inside. When built in 1677 primary considerations were to keep heat in the house and the Indians out. Glass had to be imported from England and was quite expensive. The original windows were much smaller with small pieces of triangular glass. The r larger windows were put in at a later date. I'll have to take exception regarding the sleeping arrangements. Our listing clearly states that we have a total of five beds: 3 queen beds and two singles and there are clear photos of those as well. It also states that we will accept up to ten guests, but when there are more than eight they will have to provide their own air mattress, sleeping bags and towels. A previous guest had left an extra air mattress (when they had more than 8 guests). I had never personally seen it. We offered that and my personal sleeping bag as as accomodation. When the guest became irate with my wife and offended when she suggested they purchase a sleeping bag and mat she offered a possible cost free solution. As far as her son sleeping on the floor, she told me her son slept at her sisters. I guess they have softer floors. For those reading this review I guess the lesson is, whatever property you are renting you should take the time to read what the bed configuration is so this doesn't happen do you.
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5

Piece of History

  • 5 of 5

Our annual family vacation was spent in this wonderful historic home. While we usually vacation at a lake home we took a chance this year of no lake and we are glad that we did. The charm of the Fenner House is incomparable to even the historic home we stayed at in Gettysburg. The wide plank floors and fireplaces in each room have so much character. The furniture was very comfortable and the location made trips to Providence, Newport and other New England areas easy to reach. The layout of the home was excellent with one bedroom on the first floor and 3 on the second and a full bath on each floor. The extra sitting room upstairs was a nice bonus. Many great restaurants close by and multiple choices for food shopping within a few miles. Richard was very easy to work with and addressed all our concerns promptly and efficiently. Would recommend this property to anyone. You will certainly enjoy it!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 7, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Historic Stay at the Inlaws House!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at the Fenner House while visiting family in the area. My family and the Fenner family lived about a mile apart, just up the road for over a hundred years. It was a true honor to be a guest here. The house is fabulous and we cannot wait to return. The guests we hosted while there we totally awed by this place. Richard was great to work with also!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 27, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Map

Nearest Airport
8.2 Miles
T. F. Green Airport
Nearest Barpub
0.4 Miles
Ralphs Restaurant 1418 Plainfield Pike
Nearest Ferry
18.41 Miles
Martha Vinyard Ferry
Nearest Golf
6.4 Miles
Cranston Country Club
Nearest Train
5.36 Miles
Providence Amtrack
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
295
Nearest Restaurant
0.4 Miles
Ralphs Resturant 1418 Palkinfield Pike
Nearest Ski
64.68 Miles
Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
Nearest Beach
11.6 Miles
Gaspee Point Beach
Car: necessary

Turn down a long driveway from a 1970s residential neighborhood and you will find a tranquil setting among ancient trees bringing you back in time to early Colonial Rhode Island. Just over 5 miles from downtown Providence and Brown University,

Photos

Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday house in Cranston, Rhode Island

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
 
Winter 2016
28 Nov 2016 - 21 Dec 2016
3 night minimum stay
A$262
From
A$296
Fri,Sat
A$1,613
A$4,704
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
Christmas 2016
22 Dec 2016 - 27 Dec 2016
3 night minimum stay
A$437
A$2,218
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
Winter 2017
3 Jan 2017 - 31 Mar 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$249
From
A$296
Fri,Sat
A$1,546
A$4,704
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
Johnson and Wales Graduation
19 May 2017 - 21 May 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$336
A$2,218
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
Brown Graduation 2017
26 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$437
A$2,184
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
RISD Graduation
2 Jun 2017 - 4 Jun 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$336
A$2,218
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
June 2017
5 Jun 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$282
From
A$316
Thu,Fri
A$1,781
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
4th of July 2017
1 Jul 2017 - 4 Jul 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$437
A$2,218
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
July & August 2017
5 Jul 2017 - 31 Aug 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$282
From
A$316
Fri,Sat
A$1,814
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
Thanksgiving 2017
22 Nov 2017 - 25 Nov 2017
3 night minimum stay
A$437
A$2,218
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest
 
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
A$269
From
A$302
Fri,Sat
A$1,680
A$5,040
 
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add A$34 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning A$181
Refundable Damage Deposit A$672
Tax Rate 8.0%

Payment by check is preferred. Please contact owner regarding credit card and Paypal payments.

A 3% fee on the total will be added to all US credit card payments. 5% on Canadian and European credit card payments. To avoid this fee you may pay by check.

Reservations of less than 7 days will only be accepted within 30 days of occupancy or when it immediately proceeds or follows an existing reservation.

Cancelation Policy:
50% refund for cancellations within 14 - 30 days of arrival
100% refund for cancellations 30 days or more before arrival

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
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Amenities

Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house rental in Cranston, Rhode Island

Property Type:
  • house
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2400 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Rural ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
Theme:
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
Bathrooms:
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower enclosure
    Bathroom 1 up - toilet , bath with shower , Storage Closet
  • Two bathrooms. Downstairs bath has shower. Upstairs has shower over tub. Gas heating system installed May 2015. The contractor states that 3-4 ten minute showers can be taken per hour.
Bedrooms:
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 3 up - 2 single bed
    Master - 1 large double bed , with TV
    Bedroom 4 down - 1 large double bed , with TV
    Bedroom 2 up - 1 large double bed , with TV. Stairs to attic double as a closet
  • Four Bedrooms- three with a queen size beds and one with two twins One bedroom with a queen bed is on the first floor where there is also a 3/4 bath and laundry facilities. If more than 8 are staying the guests must provide their own air bed linens and towels.
Entertainment:
  • DVD Player ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
Outside:
  • Lawn / Garden
Suitability:
  • Events Allowed
  • long term rentals available
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
Attractions:
  • autumn foliage
  • bay
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • museums
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • sailing
  • bay fishing