2005-09-29 / Editorial

This week in Island history

Compiled by Sue Maden

Week of September 29

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 26, 1905:

It was voted (at the Town Council meeting) that Gideon Lathan, town sergeant, be authorized to repair the stove in the town hall so as to be ready for use and also to repair the coal bin in the cellar of the town hall, and the cellar steps and front steps of the building.

From the Newport Daily News, September 27, 1905:

Barge Prima Donna was pulled off the rocks at the West ferry by the tug Solicitor at high water yesterday afternoon. About 80 tons of coal was removed from the barge by lighter J.J. Sullivan and a wrecking pump put on board, which succeeded in lowering the water in the barge enough to allow her to be floated at high tide. After being pulled off tug Solicitor brought the barge around the island to the East ferry, where she is being discharged. The barge is leaking badly and relays of men are working two pumps constantly to keep her afloat.

From the Newport Daily News, September 30, 1905:

The winter schedule of the Jamestown ferry will go into effect Monday and the season of 1905 can be said to be ended, although there are several cottagers still here. It has been the best cottage season Jamestown has ever had, and already there are inquiries for the season of 1906.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 27, 1930:

The information booth at Saunderstown, which has been operated since July 1 with service for tourists between the hours of 8 A.M. and 8:30 P.M., has been closed for the season. During the three years of its existence it has been of great aid to the traveling public, one indication being the fact that the last season approximately 2,000 pieces of literature were distributed. From the Newport Daily News, October 1, 1930:

The Sunday distribution of mail at the local post office has been discontinued for the season.

50 years ago From the Jamestown Press. September 30, 1955:

The new ferry slip in Jamestown, built at a cost of $63,433, became operative at 11 A.M. yesterday when the incoming ferry from Newport used it for the first time. It replaces the old slip, to the south, which was badly damaged in the 1954 hurricanes. . . . The new slip which extends 180 feet from the shore, and 30 feet farther than the old, has 480 pilings. The ferry’s freight house has been moved about 14 feet to the south to permit a roadway to the new slip.

From the Newport Daily News, October 1, 1955:

Full cooperation of the Jamestown Town Council in developing a recreation program was promised the Recreation Commission at a joint meeting of the two groups last night by Dr. Alfred B. Gobeille, Council president. Dr. Gobeille told the commission it must decide if it is going to continue the program of the past or develop a more comprehensive program. He had in mind, he said, the Recreation Commission taking over operation of the town’s beaches and the Fort Getty reservation as part of the town’ recreation program. . . . In referring to the $10,000 recreation budget, Gobeille said the people of the community did not feel they were getting enough for the money.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 24, 1980:

The Town Council is seeking comments from Jamestown residents on the public buildings report submitted by Town Administrator Robert W. Sutton Jr. An open meeting will be Monday night. Some of the major renovations would include a fireproof vault at the Town Hall, expanding the police station in the East Ferry Recreation Center, and relocating the Highway Department’s garage to Taylor Point, adjacent to the sewage treatment plant. It is now at Fort Wetherill in an old building.

From the Newport Daily News, September 26, 1980:

Trustees of Jamestown Philomenian Library announced at a meeting this week that the Portuguese American History compiled and edited by Catherine Morris Wright and material collected by Shirley Quottromani is expected to be available Oct. 15.

From the Newport Daily News, September 27, 1980:

The Fort Getty Pavilion was dedicated Friday night in memory of Army Reserve Lt. Col. John C. Rembijas, during ceremonies there. Gov. Gerrahy unveiled the plaque and paid tribute to the late Col. Rembijas, who was chairman of the Fort Getty building committee and who designed and worked on the structure

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, September 27, 1990:

The proposed bus stop on Spindrift Street was eliminated last week from the cross-island connector road design.

Save the Bay filed a federal suit last week against Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management and three other defendants for violating the Clean Water Act by allowing millions of gallons if raw sewage to be discharged into Narragansett Bay.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, September 28, 1995:

Town officials have shut down the municipal well at North Pond reservoir and will leave it off until water levels in the surrounding area stabilize. All water used by islanders tied into municipal waterlines is now coming from North Kingstown through the Jamestown’s emergency pipeline and directly into the town’s distribution system.

Water use at the town-owned Ft. Getty campground this season was lower than what would be expected. . . . On average a person uses about 5,000 gallons of water per three-month billing period, but the 653,690 gallons used at Getty covers a season of more than four months.

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