Clingstone is a house built in 1905, perched atop a small, rocky island in an island group called “The Dumplings” in Narragansett Bay, near Jamestown, Rhode Island.
The dwelling, designed by Philadelphia socialite J. S. Lovering Wharton and artist William Trost Richards, is a three-story 23-room 10,000-square-foot shingle-style cottage. The structural system of heavy mill-type framing was designed to withstand hurricane force winds. The name “Clingstone” was suggested by a remark that it was “a peach of a house”. In August 2010 the interior was documented in a series of panoramic photographs.
Film director Wes Anderson modeled the house from Moonrise Kingdom after Clingstone, specifically the interior shingles.
The original owner, relative of industrialist Joseph Wharton, built the house in response to the government condemning his earlier summer home in order to build Fort Wetherill. Wharton summered there until his death in the 1930s. Heavily damaged by a hurricane in 1938, the residence was vacant from the time of his wife’s death in 1941 until it was purchased in 1961 by Boston architect Henry Wood. Wood, a distant cousin of the Philadelphia Whartons, was able to purchase the property for $3,500, the amount owed in back taxes. The house is known by locals as “The House on a Rock”.
The house is totally off the power grid. A windmill on the roof provides electricity, while photovoltaic cells charge a bank of batteries in the basement for additional power. Rainwater collected from the roof into a 3,000-gallon cistern provide water for washing and cleaning. Drinking water comes from a sea-water filtration system. Water is heated by solar panels. The house even has a composting toilet. The compost is then used to fertilize the garden.