T he mansion now known as the William W. Tripp Funeral Home was originally built as the residence for the Lumb-Potter Family. The home's cornerstone was laid in 1917.The home, taking two years to build, was finally completed in 1919. The mansion was built for Mr. James C. Potter, the owner of the Potter and Johnson Machine Company, now Hasbro Industries on Newport Avenue. The home was presented to his daughter Mary as a wedding gift upon her marriage to Mr. Ralph Lumb, the son of the owner of Lumb Knitting Mills, now Teknor Apex on Central Avenue.
The Lumb Mansion is fashioned in the English Tudor Style, constructed of red tapestry brick. The first floor originally contained the library-parlor with quartered oak paneling and a vaulted oak beamed ceiling. The focal point of this room is its massive gothic styled fireplace mantle featuring the combined coat of arms of the Lumb and Potter Families. This coat of arms is found again on the fireplace screen. The Fireplace andirons, screen and gate were hammered and fashioned at the Potter and Johnson Machine Company. Outside the library-parlor you would walk into an open air sun porch, now enclosed and used as a funeral arrangement conference room. There was also a formal dining room, now a sitting room, this room contains quartered mahogany paneling and a gothic style ceiling and fireplace as well. Just off this room was a solarium enclosed with cathedral style glass pained French doors. Located just to the rear of the dining room in what is now the back of the main chapel was a sunken parlor-music room containing a baby grand piano. The main foyer of the grand home, the Newport Avenue entrance, is a vaulted paneled room with a vaulted ceiling, leaded glass oak door and staircase to the residence on the second floor. The rear of the house contained the butler’s pantry and kitchen, from the kitchen the maids could access their quarters on the third floor of the home by way of a servant staircase. The kitchen overlooked rose gardens and manicured lawns and also a child’s play house. The play house was actually large enough to be used as a private residence. The play house was dismantled and eventually moved to Cape Cod, where it was converted into a summer residence.
The second floor had three bedrooms, two baths, powder room, dressing room with a walk in red cedar wardrobe and a “summer sleeping room” now a kitchen that opens almost completely to the outside. The second floor bedrooms all contain their own fireplace and walk in closets. The third floor contained the nursery and maids quarters with accommodations for two maids. The third floor had two bedrooms, bathroom, small parlor and storage for the house linens and towels.
The basement of the home at one time contained a wine cellar, preserve room for jams and jellies, laundry and a children’ s game room with billiard table and shuffle board painted onto the floor. The basement also housed the boilers, coal bin, and central vacuum system.
The Lumb Mansion was converted into the William W. Tripp Funeral Home in 1957 by William and Ethel Tripp. The funeral home opened it's doors to the public on April 14, 1957. The William W. Tripp Funeral Home has been proudly and honorably serving the families of the community for over 50 years.