200 Kingstown Road
(1881, 1931) – A 2-1/2 story, rambling, multi-gabled roof dwelling set back from the road near Sprague Pond. Originally part of the large colonial William Robinson Farm, a tract here was purchased in the mid-19th century by Elisha Watson, who helped develop Narragansett Pier into a fashionable resort community. In 1870, Watson and Amasa Sprague, who owned land on opposite sides of the brook here, built a dam which flooded the swamp and created Sprague Pond.
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the property’s ownership changed several times. Most notably, in 1930, Theakston de Coppet purchased the property, and enlarged it by adding two sizeable wings, which is essentially the footprint of house is today, a 4500 square-foot home set on six acres. Theakston’s father, Henry de Coppet, had a summer home in Narragansett Pier in 1886, so he knew Narragansett well. Theakston was an ardent conservationist, who also owned 2700 acres in Richmond called Hillsdale, which he eventually left in trust for the State of Rhode Island.
Upon Theakston’s death in 1937, he left a life interest in the property to several heirs, including Florence G. Hoxie, who lived here for many years.
In April of 1978 the property was sold to Governor and Mrs. J. Joseph Garrahy. As with any story of almost any house, to know that history amplifies our sense of place and appreciation and helps to engender that special sense of continuity which makes the present more human, more familiar, by tying into its past.
1997 the present owners, Lynn McKinney and Ron Margolin, purchased the property. It had suffered somewhat from neglect during a two-year period after the Garrahy family sold it. Lynn and Ron fell in love with it immediately and have been restoring the interior substantially since. In addition to the restoration/renovation work, they have furnished the house with many fascinating works of art and antiques, mostly acquired via their travels.
Please especially note the 1800’s Dutch inlaid serving table in the great room, the mahogany dresser in the dining room (not sure of the age, but the doors are one solid piece of mahogany, which is no longer available), the several Mid-Eastern large, intricately carved doors (one on the landing to the second floor, another at the end of the second-floor hallway), and the two wine presses serving as decorative support columns between the dining room and the family room. These are just a few of the items that will delight the eye.
The property is “guarded” by two water dragons at the entrance to the property, sitting atop two stone columns – fierce-looking, but harmless. The long driveway to the house has mature cherry trees on each side, which make it a fantasy when in bloom. Plantings and flower beds abound, and there is an orchard to the rear of the property. The views of Sprague Pond are gorgeous.
Many famous people have visited, most of whom will go unnamed here. However, one visitor is quotable: Candice Bergen, star of the Murphy Brown TV series, (whose daughter attended Brown University), was asked what was her favorite part of Rhode Island, to which she replied, “Most of all, I love Lynn McKinney’s and RonMargolin’s house in Narragansett.”
One cannot disagree with Candice Bergen on that!