Built in 1852 as an Italianate-style villa for China trade merchant William Shepard Wetmore, Chateau-sur-Mer was Newport's first grand residence until the construction of the Vanderbilt houses 40 years later. In 1857 Wetmore threw an extravagant, unprecedented gala for 2,500 people, ushering in the Gilded Age in Newport. The house is a treasure trove of Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics, and stenciling. See hand-carved Italian woodwork, Chinese porcelains,
and Japanese and Egyptian Revival stenciled wallpapers. The grounds have some rare trees from Mongolia.