2005-09-22 / Letters to the Editor

This week in Island history

Compiled by Sue Maden

Week of September 22

The news of 10 and 15 years ago is from the Jamestown Press. The news of 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago from the Newport Daily News comes from the collection of the Newport Historical Society.

100 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 22, 1905:

The entrance to the harbor presented a busy scene about 5 o’clock yesterday. There were three tugs with 16 laden barges passing the Dumplings at one time. One of the tugs was the Tacony, which had in addition to her own tow four barges, which made up the tow of tug Cora L. Staples when she was burned recently in New London.

From the Newport Daily News, September 25, 1905:

Barge Prima Donna, loaded with coal for the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company, went ashore last night at the West ferry on the rocks in front of the Thayer cottage. The barge was towed to the west bay by mistake, and in anchoring the chain parted, and not having another, anchor and barge drifted toward shore. Attempts were made to attract the attention of the tug by blowing the fog horn, but the signals were not heard and the strong westerly wind carried the barge high up on the rocks just north of the West ferry, where she lies at present.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 18, 1930:

Frank S. Furtado was appointed a committee (at the Town Council meeting) to have the trucks used at the town’s crusher put in good condition and Councilman Furtado was appointed

committee to lay the town’s crusher up for the winter.

From the Newport Daily News, September 19, 1930:

Fishing at Beavertail is proving an enjoyable and profitable sport. Many are catching large numbers of blue fish, Halton Smith of Shoreby Hill catching 18 Thursday morning. Several bass have been caught during the past week.

From the Newport Daily News, September 19, 1930:

The Holy Ghost Society is to hold a series of whists at their hall on Narragansett avenue, the first of which will be held next Thursday evening. First and second prizes will be awarded to the high scorers at the close of each series, and weekly prizes will be awarded.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 19, 1955:

Dr. Michael F. Walsh, state commissioner of education, was the principal speaker at the dedication exercises of Jamestown’s new $450,000 elementary school last night. The exercises, held in the multi-purpose room of the new school on Lawn and Watson Avenues before an audience of 200, marked the end of four years of proposing, planning and finally building the structure for which ground was broken December 30, 1953. . . . More than 1,000 people visited the school Sunday afternoon and evening. It opened this morning for regular classes with an enrollment of 400 pupils.

From the Newport Daily News, September 22, 1955:

Jamestown is being considered by the Fruit Industries, Inc. of Bradenton, Fla., as a site for one of its northern distributing centers for orange juice. . . . The $500,000 processing plant, though, is still in the planning stage (Town Council president) Gobeille added. Two company representatives were in Jamestown this week inspecting the proposed site, the former Navy fleet landing at the east end of Eldred Avenue.

From the Newport Daily News, September 24, 1955:

Things are looking up for Antone Gomes of Jamestown. He’ll soon move out of a grim tar-papered shack into a trim three-room shingled cottage overlooking Sheffield Cove and the west passage of Narragansett Bay. The move will be the product of a community effort to help the 70-year-old retired farmer. It all started Aug. 31, 1954, when Hurricane Carol battered Jamestown. Gomes’ shack, located on the west shore of the island, tipped over by the winds and high water and badly damaged. His furniture was totally destroyed. . . . The Red Cross swung into action. An informal drive was organized to build Gomes a cottage to replace the shack.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 18, 1980:

(advertisement) Jamestown resident. Town of Jamestown is seeking a part-time Recreation Center Supervisor. $5 per hour.

(Advertisement). In Jamestown, this turn of the century “cottage” offers a gracious setting for enjoyment of New England Summers, on three-quarters of an acre of smooth lawn, the 11room house includes 7 bedrooms, 4 baths and 60 foot porch with clear, unobstructed views of Narragansett Bay and Newport, the unspoiled waterview is protected by a large grassed common, of which the property has partial ownership. Offered at $250,000, substantially furnished and equipped.

From the Newport Daily News, September 19, 1980:

The Waterfront Authority recently recommended that the Town Council take whatever steps necessary to buy Fort Wetherill basin for town property.

From the Newport Daily News, September 23, 1980:

The Town Council Monday night asked residents to voluntarily conserve water because of low supplies at the town reservoir.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, September 20, 1990:

The Town Council, after 90 minutes of debate Monday night, unanimously approved a resolution of support for the new cross-island highway design.

The fate of the Fort Wetherill Boat Owner’s Association’s lease with Jamestown may be decided at the October meeting of the Harbor Management Commission. . . . Several options exist: renew the lease with the boat owner’s group, lease the property to a commercial marina operator, or have the facility managed for the commission by the town’s harbormaster.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, September 21, 1995:

Town officials expected water from North Kingstown to start flowing through the emergency pipeline across the West Passage and directly into the island’s distribution system yesterday at about 2 p.m. . . . The town will be paying North Kingstown the regular water customer rate of $1.40 per 1,000 gallons with a $30 minimum for up to 3 million gallons. Above that cut off, the rate drops to $1.10 per 1,000 gallons. Eventually those costs will be passed on to Jamestown water customers. Meanwhile, the town continues to pump 100,000 gallons daily from its recently completed municipal well into North Pond reservoir.

(photo caption) A swimmer heads for a towel Saturday after completing the 1.7 mile open water swim from Newport to Jamestown. More than 140 swimmers participated in the annual Save the Bay event.

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