Francis S. Kinney built his wealth in the tobacco and real estate businesses. Francis and his younger brother, Abbot, founded Kinney Brothers Tobacco Company, which became one of the leading manufacturers of cigarettes in the late 1800’s.
Francis Kinney enjoyed Narragansett, and was heavily involved in the polo culture. Kinney reportedly had a disagreement with the manager of the Point Judith County Club, which prompted Kinney to purchase the land across the street, on which he decided to build his own private clubhouse for post polo game parties. Thus, he built the Kinney Bungalow and farmhouse in 1899. The farmhouse is a two-story, wood-shingled structure with a hip-roofed wrap-around porch. There are two outbuildings and a large barn. Another small barn was built on site for polo ponies.
South of the farmhouse is the Kinney Bungalow, which was designed in 1899 by Providence architects P.O. Clarke and A.R. Spaulding. The style is classified as East Indian bungalow. Kinney Bungalow is a rectangular, two-story structure. The second story has a large, 16-pane window.
Prior to Kinney purchasing the land in 1897, James E. Anthony owned the land, having inherited the property from his father, James W. Anthony, in 1887. He farmed the land for 10 years, but decided to return to his former storekeeper life in nearby Wakefield. The property is often referred to as the Kinney-Anthony Farm/Sunset Farm.
Kinney passed away in 1908, and the property was subsequently sold to Mrs. Irving Chase, a summer resident of Narragansett Pier. Upon her death in 1935, she left the property to her daughter, Mrs. Thomas Ewing. The Bungalow was reportedly the site of many dances, parties and celebrations. Lucia Chase Ewing was co-founder of the American Ballet Theatre, and she reportedly had the troupe practice at the Bungalow during the summer.
The clubhouse was also used by the Red Cross during World War I and the U.S. Army, which used it as a communications post during World War II.
In 1991 Kinney Bungalow and Sunset Farm were acquired by the Town of Narragansett. The farm property has expanded to 200 acres, due in large part to the generosity of land donations by adjacent landowners, through the Narragansett Land Trust. The farm has been occupied by a tenant farmer for most of the 20th and 21rst century. The Bungalow has been restored, and is available as an elegant event venue.
Kinney Bungalow Website, http://www.kinneybungalow.com/history/
“Historic and Architectural Resources of Narragansett, Rhode Island,” Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1991.