The Native Americans called the island Woonachaset. Colonists purchased Coasters Island from the Indians in 1654. The City built the Newport Asylum for the Poor in 1822. The Newport Poor House and Farm was located on the island until the City and State donated the island to the U.S. Navy for the Naval War College in 1882. The Navy still uses the island as a training center, and it is home to the Naval War College Museum.