Windswept Mansion – The Tale of the Scarborough Beach Ruins

Rhode Island is a haven for outdoorsmen and history buffs alike. Things to do in the small seaside town include Narragansett historical tours, bird watching, and spending long, lazy days at the beach. While visitors to Narragansett may know of Scarborough State Beach or Judith Point, most are unfamiliar with the ruins of Windswept. These intriguing ruins are well worth a trip off the beaten path! Book one of our Rhode Island vacation rentals today and explore the ruins for yourself!

the ruins of windswept mansion

History of Windswept

Perched between Scarborough Beach and Black Point, this 21-room mansion was constructed in 1895 by the Davis family. It included 5 bedrooms, a kitchen with a laundry and pantry, living spaces, and servants’ quarters. Perry Davis, the patriarch of the family, had come into wealth by selling a product known as “Perry Davis’s Vegetable Pain Killer,” a mix of opium and alcohol, which promised a cure for cholera, colic, dysentery, and many other afflictions. This painkiller is believed to be the first nationally advertised remedy for chronic pain. 

Perry’s grandson Edmund sold off the pain killer and with the money, he received built Windswept.

After 40 years, the property was sold to the Castiglione brothers, who turned the mansion into an upscale restaurant called Cobb’s by the Sea. For the high price of $1.75, diners could order a boiled lobster and for $2.25, filet mignon. 

In 1952, the property was sold again, but this time it was left vacant, attracting vandals and arsonists. After three fires, the mansion was demolished. Finally, in 1974, the Department of Environmental Management purchased the land. Today, stone ruins of the outer structure are all that remain. 

Visiting the Ruins and Scarborough Beach 

The Windswept ruins are a great place to visit for anyone who enjoys escaping the usual tourist circuit. Though the ruins are well known to locals and the subject of much folklore, most visitors don’t know they exist. Fortunately, they are not difficult to visit and are close to town and Scarborough State Beach. Just follow the shoreline from the beach towards Black Point. There are no formal signs or parking spots to indicate your arrival. It takes a little bit of exploring to get there, but the ruins are within easy walking distance of the beach. And when you see the distinctive stone walls, you can’t miss them!

Plan Your Visit

Are you ready for your dream Narragansett getaway? Contact us to learn more about the area’s best rentals!

A trip to Windswept should be combined with a day at the beach. Scarborough Beach is one of the most popular in Narragansett. In contrast to the abandoned ruins, Scarborough Beach is always bustling! It is well developed with many amenities for beachgoers, including an observation tower, boardwalk, showers, concessions, pavilions, gazebos, and 75 picnic tables. Enjoy the sun and sand, share a family picnic, and then go exploring for the ruins!

rhode island coast

Other Things To Do

Hike along the coast, past the ruins toward Black Point. The Black Point Trail provides 2.1 miles of stunning natural scenery to enjoy with water views for almost the entire length. 

Consider also spending a lazy afternoon fishing at Black Point Fishing or taking the kids to see the Black Point Tide Pools, which are filled with treasures. During low tide, the kids will be entertained for hours searching for periwinkle snails, sea stars, and sea urchins. 

Another popular option is to head on a day trip to Block Island, which is located 12 miles off of the Rhode Island coast and can only be accessed by ferry.

If you’re reluctant to take your eyes off the beautiful scenery, consider one of our Narragansett vacation rentals with waterfront views. We also provide Scarborough Beach rentals that leave you only a short walking distance from the sand. A trip to Narragansett will be one filled with adventure, and we are here to make that possible! 

Durkin Cottage Realty

815 Pt. Judith Rd.
Narragansett, RI 02882

Phone: 401-789-6659
Fax: 401-789-6705
info@durkincottages.com

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