Newport, Rhode Island's Great Common as it was in the 17th Century


Go to Proposed John Clarke Park location





For those familiar with Newport, Rhode Island, the "Great Common was established shortly after the city's founding in 1638. As the name suggests, the land was to be used "in common" or for community grazing, markets, dockage, water, and so forth. It began at Equality Square, where Marcus Wheatland Blvd. leaves Broadway. It ran along Marcus Wheatland before turning just to the north of Marlborough Street. To the south, it was bordered by Touro St.. To the east, it was bordered by Spring Street.

John Clarke's home was situated cattycorner behind the Newport Police Station at the intersection of Callendar St. and Marcus Wheatland Blvd. A stream, known as Tanner's Brook, ran along Marcus Wheatland, turning westerly at Marlborough St. and into the Bay. The land to the north was essentially a great marsh. Other historic structures and sites are noted on the map. Credit: John Clarke Society 2011