In the late 19th century, at the site of an old asylum for the poor on Coaster's Harbor Island off the city of Newport, Rhode Island, local residents made a decision that would change American military history forever: they proposed that the 90-acre Island become a U.S. Naval Training Center. Postcards and other artifacts document physical changes over time, activities of enlisted trainees, and images of stationed ships. A detailed history unfolds through historical documents, 19th century newspapers, and detailed images. The metamorphosis of Newport, Rhode Island into today's vibrant city is revealed. Development of the Newport Naval Training Station, still in use as Naval Station Newport and The Navy War College, waxed and waned with political forces and both world wars. Postcard images show all facets of life on the base: from the mundane, like washing clothes, to the serious, like drilling, sham battles, artillery training, signal training, and life aboard the battleship USS Constellation.
Author Federico Santi r moved to Newport, Rhode Island, in 1985. His restoration of the Theodore Helme Building there won the Restoration of the Year Award in 2001.

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