2013-09-26 / Mainsheet

Builders’ Ball Celebrates the Irish and Fort Adams

Frank and Karen Flanagan Frank and Karen Flanagan Spirits were high at the inaugural Builders’ Ball, a benefit for the Fort Adams Trust, held Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Fort. Bill Cardinal, chair of the event, just may have created a new Newport tradition. The festive event, hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Dennis E. Collins Division #1, featured a full evening of live musical entertainment from traditional Irish music and harmonies to dancing to the high-energy sounds of Wayz and Means.

The Builders’ Ball celebrated the Irish craftsmen, stoneworkers and bricklayers who built the fort, while benefiting the Fort Adams Trust, stewards of the historic fortification.

Fort Adams, as we know it today, was built between 1824 and 1857 by predominantly Irish laborers, bricklayers and stonemasons. Some 300 to 400 worked at the Fort during this period. A larger wave of Irish immigrants came to work in Newport’s “Gilded Age” mansions during the late 1800s and early 1900s, leading to the development of the “Fifth Ward” neighborhood, where many settled.

Chris Behan, Brendan Moore and Joe Brady Chris Behan, Brendan Moore and Joe Brady

Kelli Kerwin and Jean Lehane Kelli Kerwin and Jean Lehane

Melinda Hill and Shawn Burns Melinda Hill and Shawn Burns

Photos by Jen Carter Photos by Jen Carter

Cheryl and Fred Twiss Cheryl and Fred Twiss

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