2017-01-12 / Island History

ISLAND HISTORY

Town councilors received a first look at the state’s design for its imminent transformation of the World War I buildings at Fort Wetherill into an aquatic research center, The Jamestown Press reported Jan. 13, 2000.

According to Bob Sutton, chief planner for the Department of Environmental Management, the projected cost to rehabilitate the 7-acre parcel is $3 million.

According to the plans, the main building will be completely retrofitted into a two-story headquarters for the Division of Fish & Wildlife. There will be offices on the second floor while the ground level will house a marine laboratory. The middle building will be turned into a saltwater wet lab with intakes from Narragansett Bay cycling 200 gallons of ocean water a minute through fiberglass tanks.

100 years ago — Jan. 16, 1917 (Newport Daily News)

A talk titled “Life Aboard Uncle Sam’s Fleet” at Central Baptist Church was well attended. The YMCA speaker described the life of a sailor from training to becoming a full-fledged seaman. The talk was illustrated with pictures of various vessels and the daily life of a sailor at work and play.

75 years ago — Jan. 16, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

Town Councilman Eugene Kirby was named a committee of one to select a location for a proposed monument commemorating the meeting of Roger Williams and Canonicus, chief of the Narragansett Indians.

50 years ago — Jan. 12, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

Capt. John Boone will retire as operations manager of the Jamestown Ferry Division after 15 years at the helm. William E. Clarke Jr. will succeed him.

Clarke, 61, of Howland Avenue, first went to work for the ferry in 1922.

Because Jamestown once had three William Clarkes, the new ferry manager is known as “Engineer Bill.” His nickname distinguishes him from “Painter Bill” and “Purser Bill.”

25 years ago — Jan. 16, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

Bob Sutton, Jamestown’s first town administrator, resigned from the post he had for 17 years.

“I have arrived at this very difficult decision after much deliberation,” he said. “I have enjoyed every day. My wife and I have had the good fortune to live and work and raise our family in Jamestown, the best community in the state.”

Sutton said a lot has changed during his tenure. “It is an entirely different community now.”

10 years ago — Jan. 18, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

Following a long and rigorous search, Central Baptist Church has appointed the Rev. Kathryn Palen as the church’s new pastor. She replaces Robert Morton- Ranney after his 17-year tenure as minister.

Palen said she was most impressed by the congregation’s “amount of caring and introspection.”

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