Bailey's Beach (officially named and owned by the Spouting Rock Beach Association) is an elite private beach and club in Newport, Rhode Island.
Bailey's Beach in Newport Rhode Island was
founded in the 1890s after new trolley service gave mill workers from Fall River ready access to Easton's Beach, a wide expanse closer to downtown Newport that the well-to-do had claimed as their own. Not wishing to associate with people who took their lunches in buckets, high society relocated several miles to Spouting Rock, smaller and often seaweedy but safely beyond the reach of trolleys. Today, approximately 500 families belong, and for the most part, new members are added only when old ones die.
According to The New York Times
Spouting Rock Beach Association, named for a geological formation, and membership in it tends to define summer life here in ways that are sometimes difficult to comprehend, even for insiders.
The organization has attracted notable members of nearby families such as the Vanderbilt family, and the Astor family. The 1938 Hurricane destroyed the original clubhouse, and the current clubhouse and cabanas appear relatively modest to passersby. The Spouting Rock Beach Association also owns the elite Newport Reading Room. Bailey's Beach was one of the centers of elite Newport social life along with other institutions such as the Redwood Library, Newport Country Club, Trinity Church, Clambake Club, Newport Reading Room, New York Yacht Club summer clubhouse and the Newport Casino. Despite the exclusive status of the beach club and membership, the northeast end of the beach is open to the public and known colloquially as Reject's Beach.
These include both current and former members:
- Eileen Slocum
- Claiborne Pell
- Jimmy Van Alen
- Doris Duke
- Wiley T. Buchanan
- Jacqueline Kennedy
- Dede Wilsey
- Harold Vanderbilt
- Sheldon Whitehouse
- Noreen Drexel
- John R. Drexel III
- Bruce Sundlun
- Martha "Sunny" von Bulow
- Howard G. Cushing