Our Mystery photo from Monday was the Newport Tower. Located in Touro Park in Newport, RI. The tower masquerades under many names : Round Tower, Touro Tower, Newport Stone Tower and Old Stone Mill.
I got to thinking about this tower because it was recently featured on a program on the History Channel called America Unearthed. In AMERICA UNEARTHED, forensic geologist Scott Wolter, trys to reveal that the history we all learned in school may not always be the whole story.
For years the tower was thought to have been built in the 17th century as a windmill but more recently there has been speculation that the structure is really centuries older. Some of the current theories are that the tower was built as an observatory.
Another theory by the author Gavin Menzies is that the tower was built by a colony of Chinese sailors and concubines from the junks of a Chinese explorer. This theory is said to have been debunked.
There’s also the theory that Portuguese navigators built the structure as a watchtower.
But my favorite theory is not the most popular but maybe the most “romantic” and it is the theory that Scott Wolter tries to prove in his episode about he tower. That theory is that the remnants of the Knights Templar came to the New World and built the tower as a signpost for other to follow. He highlights the astronomical alignments and draws comparisons with known Templar built structures .
I have a soft spot for the Templars and would love to have this theory proved true however remote the chance. But even if the tower is eventually proved to be something as mundane as a windmill it will have been fun speculating about its origin.