2016-09-22 / Island History

ISLAND HISTORY

Thousands of residents posed for a millennium portrait in 1999 with the Jamestown Bridge and the West Passage overlooking. Photo by Onne van der Wal Thousands of residents posed for a millennium portrait in 1999 with the Jamestown Bridge and the West Passage overlooking. Photo by Onne van der Wal About 2,000 Jamestowners gathered at Fox Hill Farm to take a group picture, reported The Jamestown Press (Sept. 23, 1999).

The portrait was taken by Onne van der Wal using a panoramic portrait camera with high-resolution film. It was enlarged to poster size so everyone’s face could be visible, he said.

The idea was conceived by Mike Swistak in 1985, but didn’t come to fruition until 14 years later.

100 years ago — Sept. 23, 1916 (Newport Daily News)

Members of the town’s Progressive Party split with Republicans on supporting candidates for state senator and representative. There was no split between the two groups when it came to local office seekers.

75 years ago — Sept. 26, 1941 (Newport Daily News)

The two top finishers in the pigeon race from Little Falls, N.Y., to Newport belonged to Jamestowner Frank Vieira.

Vieira’s best bird averaged 1,138 yards per minute during the 210-mile race. His other pigeon averaged about 5 yards slower per minute. Birds were released in ideal conditions at 7:50 a.m. and began arriving in Rhode Island shortly after 1 p.m.

The Newport Pigeon Club’s next race will fly the birds 310 miles, starting in Lyons, N.Y.

50 years ago — Sept. 26, 1966 (Newport Mercury)

A section of Beavertail owned by the U.S. Navy has reopened to fishermen, U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell told Rebelle Felice, the owner of a bait shop on North Road in Jamestown.

The area was closed in April for security reasons after 12 radio antennae were erected at the naval transmitting station. During the closure, Felice asked Pell for an update, which led to a letter from Rear Adm. F.J. Brush indicating the Navy had completed its site review. Felice was given a photostatic copy of the admiral’s letter.

25 years ago — Sept. 26, 1991 (The Jamestown Press)

The Jamestown Town Council voted unanimously to demolish the former state highway garage on Narragansett Avenue. The town wants to build a parking lot to alleviate downtown parking issues.

The lot would have 29 spots and was backed by the village association. Tim Baker, the association’s president, said the group also supported using bluestone rather than asphalt since it would be more visually appealing.

10 years ago — Sept. 28, 2006 (The Jamestown Press)

Matthew Bolles, director of parks and recreation, announced his retirement to pursue other interests, especially his music career.

The resignation follows weeks of discussion by the Jamestown Town Council to review recreation policies. The councilors asked Bolles to help create a new commission that could oversee operations in his absence.

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