Ocean View


Ocean View (Bellevue Avenue and the Cliffs beyond Lake View Avenue) was built in 1866 by architect William Russell Walker for dry-goods merchant Charles L. Anthony of New York and his wife. In 1889, financier Ogden Mills purchased the Anthony villa and named it Ocean View. Architect C. Mathews Dick and his wife purchased Ocean View in 1935. Ocean View burned in 1983, and was rebuilt on the same footprint. The mansion is still currently owned by the Dick family. Current co-owner, Lilly Dick, is founder and President of the Newport Tree Society.

Ocean View features 35 species of trees and shrubs, including historic lindens and yews believed to date back to the construction of the house in 1866. In later years, the original plantings were supplemented with new specimen trees including a collection of five dogwood cultivars, a Stewartia koreana, and an Ilex ‘Lydia Morris.’

As founder of the Newport Tree Society, Ocean View’s owner, Lilly Dick, is dedicated to the protection of the landscape’s historic trees. The Newport Tree Society and The Newport Arboretum is concerned both with the protection and enhancement of the urban forest, and the historic landscapes that tell the story of American landscape architecture and exploratory horticulture. Ms. Dick is dedicated to the use of the landscape as a point of study for Newport students and an impetus for education in heritage horticulture.

The Ocean View estate is participating in the Newport Arboretum Heritage Tree Program, in which students from Rogers High School research the natural and cultural history of some of Newport’s rarest, oldest, or most at-risk trees and propagate them from seed or cuttings. Several of Ocean View’s species are of special interest, including venerable specimens of Viburnum sieboldii and Prunus sargentii.

These trees may reveal illuminating details regarding Newport’s longtime relationship with the Arnold Arboretum. Charles Sprague Sargent, director of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University from its inception 1872 until his death in 1927, owned a summer house in Newport and he (along with plant hunter Ernest Henry Wilson) frequently brought seedlings from the Arnold Arboretum to be planted on Newport properties. In 1883, cuttings of Viburnum sieboldii were successfully propagated by the Arnold Arboretum, and in 1892, Charles Sprague Sargent collected Prunus sargentii seed from Japan and successfully propagated it. Students will seek out planting plans, plant lists and other garden history that may reveal the true age and provenance of these trees.



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The Newport Arboretum, New England's first citywide arboretum, is a special project of The Newport Tree Society of Newport, Rhode Island.