From grand house to greenie inn, with maybe a speakeasy along the way

The Stone House, in Little Compton, R.I. -- Photo  by Lydia Davison Whitcomb

The Stone House, in Little Compton, R.I.

-- Photo  by Lydia Davison Whitcomb

The Stone House, a gorgeous inn on Sakonnet Point, in the bucolic town of Little Compton, R.I., is like many such establishments in summer resort communities on the New England coast: It started as a  large private house.

The four-story structure was built in 1854 by David Sisson, an iron and textile manufacturer as New England’s Industrial Revolution really got cooking. It was also home to his son Henry Tillinghast Sisson, a Civil War hero and Rhode Island lieutenant governor in 1875-77.

The house became an inn in the early 20th Century. In its basement is a very cozy and inviting tap room, rumored to have been a speakeasy during Prohibition, where you can now have meals as well as drinks.  The booze for the speakeasy might well have been offloaded from lobster boats sent out a few miles offshore to pick it up from distributors. Lots of cat and mouse with the Coast Guard.

The Stone House is on the National Registry of Historic Places but it also has some green technologies, including heating and cooling systems that rely on geothermal technology.