In Newport, Rhode Island, there is a ruined tower that for more than a century and- a-half has been the object of heated debate. Locally the tower is known as "the Old Stone Mill," and the building was in fact in use as a mill in 1677 when the first known written reference to it was made. For a mill, however, it has an extremely unusual structure, and nothing certain is known about its original construction. Over time it has been said to have been originally a round church, a watch-tower, a warehouse, a market hall, a lighthouse-tower, an astronomical calendar, and an architectural folly. It has been suggested at various times that it was built by Nordic Vikings, Irish monks, Welshmen, Portuguese explorers, or Dutch or English settlers. In recent years, a small team of Nordic researchers has tried to clear up the question of the origins of the tower.
"Round Church or Windmill? New light on the Newport Tower,"
Newport History: Vol. 68
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol68/iss235/2