Clouds Hill Museum . . . A Portal to the Past


About Us

Watch a short video highlighting Clouds Hill:  

Introduction to Clouds Hill

The house at Clouds Hill was built as a wedding gift for Elizabeth Ives Slater on her marriage to Alfred Augustus Reed, Jr.  In 2000, Clouds Hill opened its doors to offer the public a "portal to the past" - an opportunity to experience late nineteenth century life in a home that had never passed out of the original family's stewardship.  That stewardship descended through four generations in the hands of the oldest female.  In 2004, Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (EIN: 26-0118321).  
Anne, the current owner and museum curator, graciously invites you to visit her family home.
The home was designed by William Walker & Sons, designer of many Rhode Island buildings, including most of the armories.  Fireplace surrounds were carved by Charles Dowler, who came to the United States to produce arms for the Civil War; today some of his pieces are in other museums.  Visitors from around the world have found this house to be one of the best examples of Victoriana, “surpassing even the Bellevue Avenue manors in terms of authenticity of its contents”.  The family had the forethought to keep all of the records of the building of the house and the purchase of its contents.  A few of the notables in the family line include Roger Williams, Zachariah Allen, Samuel Slater, and Anne “Nancy” Allen Holst, first female fire chief in the world.

In December 2014, Clouds Hill (a.k.a. Cedar Hill) was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  The museum house is highlighted by the architecture and interior finish and furnishings, and other collections include textiles, with family articles dating back to the 1870s; porcelain, including the dinner set used by Elizabeth and her family; and much more. The carriage museum houses more than 12 carriages, including a gypsy wagon from the mid-1800s, and related accessories. The property on which the house sits has been referred to as the West Bay arboretum and is the home to more than 70 species of trees and shrubs - tree walks begin at the Center for the Outdoors.   
Clouds Hill is dedicated to the education and enjoyment of the people of Rhode Island and beyond, our mission shall be achieved through the preservation, and interpretation of Clouds Hill, its collections, and grounds. Our goal is to continue to inspire learning by supporting the education of our local, national, and international visitor.