Milton H. Sanford was a business associate of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt in New York and made his fortune selling wool to the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1869, Sanford decided to purchase land to build a Newport summer cottage. In late October, he paid Phoebe Goddard $4,500 for "5,000 feet of land and buildings, on Washington Street." , One of these buildings was a mid-18th-century house that had once belonged to John Goddard, a cabinetmaker famous for block front furniture. In what seems an early concern for preserving Newport's 18th century heritage, Sanford had this historic house moved to 81 Second Street, where it remains today. The lot left vacant and shortly thereafter reused is now 72 Washington Street. It overlooks the harbor front from the historic Point section of Newport. The designer of Edna Villa, named after Milton H. Sanford's mother, was the architect William Ralph Emerson.
Yarnall, James L.
"The Milton H. Sanford House,"
Newport History: Vol. 72
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol72/iss248/5