T. Downing operated the Sea Girt Hotel in the
1850s. He owned a commercial real estate block in the
1860s. Active in Rhode Island politics, Downing worked
with Thomas Wentworth
Higginson to desegregate Newport schools in the 1860s.
Reverend Mahlon Van Horne, pastor of Union Congregational
Church, helped desegregate the School Committee in 1873.
Armstead Hurley, a migrant from Culpeper County, Virginia, owned and operated a successful housepainting service. David B. Allen and
J. T. Allen operated the Hygeia Spa on Thames Street and
Easton's Beach. 
Middle-class reformers established the Newport Hospital
(1873), the Sanitary Improvement Association (1887), and
the Newport Civic League.  The Newport Civic League
undertook an important study to improve working conditions
during the winter months in Newport.
United States military was another important presence in nineteenth-century
Newport. The U.S. Army established a base at Fort Adams.
The U.S. Navy established the Naval Torpedo Station on
nearby Goat Island. Coasters Harbor Island became the
site for the Naval Training Station in 1880 and the Naval
War College in 1884, both of which were founded by Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce. 
upper-class families and the military appear to have coexisted.
Maud Howe Elliott,
daughter of Julia Ward
Howe, recalled in her memoir that women gathered at
Fort Adams in the 1870s to watch the drills and dance with
Naval officers were welcomed at parties on Bellevue Avenue.
Elizabeth Drexel Lehr's
Lehr, sometimes contacted the Naval base to request
bridge players or extra dancers for the balls. 
Middle-class Americans took vacations to resorts along the Atlantic seaboard. They chose from a variety of transportation
routes to reach their destinations. In the Northeast, a series
of railroads and trolley
lines operated in tandem with steamboat
lines to connect major cities with resort towns.
Middle-class vacationers took extended trips to Newport, staying in inexpensive hotels or boarding houses, usually for less than a month.