2005-10-27 / Editorial

This week in Island history

Week of October 27
Compiled by Sue Maden

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, October 26, 1905:

Not for a number of years has Jamestown been so quiet before a November town meeting. There is no opposition to Senator Caswell and representative Cottrell, and there will probably be only a very light vote cast for state officers. Nothing as yet has been brought forward as an issue which has caused the slightest interest here.

From the Newport Daily News, October 30, 1905:

The question of a new building which would be large enough for the town horses and the fire-apparatus in Station No. 1 was discussed (at the annual meeting of the fire department), and a committee was appointed to draw up plans and report at the January business meeting.

The Gardner House closed Saturday for the season, having remained open longer than ever before.

The central telephone office in the Gardner House was closed Saturday for the season. It was understood by the subscribers here that it was to remain open all winter. Those having telephones, wishing to call up each other, now have to call the central in Newport for connections, and as there are several on one line the calls are confusing. The change was made to save the expense of hiring an operator in the central office here.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, October 23, 1930:

An apple tree in full bloom can be seen on Ocean avenue at the home of Mrs. Pearl Johnston.

From the Newport Daily News, October 27, 1930:

Black fish are being caught in great quantities at Beavertail, many fishermen coming from Newport, Fall River and Providence.

The Freshmen of the Thomas H. Clarke School held a dance and costume party in the auditorium of the school with a large number of pupils and parents and friends present.

From the Newport Daily News, October 29, 1930:

Both the Jamestown golf clubs are still open and many from Newport are seen on the links on pleasant days.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, October 25, 1955:

Albert Warner, chairman of the recreation commission, reported that since the reopening of the center a week ago, 30 girls have signed for volleyball, 27 boys for junior basketball, 27 boys for basketball, 16 for wrestling, 13 for weight lifting, 10 for boxing and nine girls for PingPong, 11 boys and three girls for woodworking, six boys and girls for art classes, seven boys for Morse code and radio and 13 girls for sewing and 11 for cooking.

The School Committee’s request for installation of three street vapor lights in the vicinity of the new school was referred (by the Town Council) to the light committee chairman, who will confer with the Newport Electric Corporation.

From the Newport Daily News, October 28, 1955:

(From an article on wildlife toll by cars:) Foxes are not new on Conanicut Island. Farmers in the north section have seen them running across the fields many times. However, they are not too numerous and whether they are old inhabitants or not is a question. Formerly a snakeless island, Conanicut now has its snakes, and skunks presumably because of the Jamestown Bridge have become numerous and make their presence known in no uncertain odors. Pheasant, whose shooting is banned, have been released on the island in hopes they will multiply in favorable surroundings, and some islanders are convinced that there are “B’ar” in the North Country.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, October 27, 1980:

UNICEF collection in Jamestown Sunday afternoon netted $282.15, up by $76 over last year. Twenty-seven children were collectors.

From the Newport Daily News, October 28, 1980:

Water customers of the town water system are using less water today than a month ago. . . . In mid-September 215,000 gallons a day were being used, which has now dropped to 160,000 gallons. Some decrease could be attributed to summer homes being closed and families moving back to winter homes off-island.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, October 25, 1990:

The Town Council Monday night reaffirmed its endorsement of the state Department of Transportation’s design plans for the cross-island highway.

Jamestown’s telephone service is now state-of-the-art thanks to a $1 million investment in the telephone switching hardware located on the island.

(Photo caption:) Jamestown received $10,000 from the state this week to help fund the community playground. . . . The money will be used to help pay off the playground’s construction debts. The Jack O’Lantern Jog on Sunday will help establish a maintenance fund for the playgrounnd.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, October 26, 1995:

Relax — your neighbors are not going to turn their family room into an accessory apartment or open a bed-and-breakfast, and there will not be a McDonald’s at Ft. Wetherill, either. After three gruelingly long public meetings and considerable public outcry over proposed amendments to the town’s Zoning Ordinance, the Town Council Monday voted not to legalize accessory apartments, as the Planning Commission recommended, but to prohibit them in all land-use zones and have the town building official actively enforce the ordinance.

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