2005-12-08 / Editorial

This week in Island history

Compiled by Sue Maden Week of December 8

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, December 5, 1905:

The sloop recently purchased by Mr. Eugene Peckham at Marion, Mass., has arrived and is moored just south of the Shoreby Hill pier. She is 32 feet overall, 12 feet beam and 3 feet draft, and is a seaworthy-looking craft, being built by Captain Joshua Slocum famous for his trip around the world in the 36foot sloop Spray.

From the Newport Daily News, December 6, 1905:

Mr. Alton Head has completed the half mile of state road, which is the first public road built in Jamestown on which steam roller was used.

United States engineer steamer Hydrographer dropped anchor in the east harbor this morning and a party was sent ashore to take the tide readings, the tide gauge being fastened to the piling under the ferry waiting room.

From the Newport Daily News, December 7, 1905:

The Improvement Society has men at work on the stone wall at the south of Ferry wharf. The posts are being made ready to receive lanterns. This piece of wall adds much to the water front, and it is hoped that it will be extended to the yacht club, in the near future.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 5, 1930:

(advertisement) For sale Howland Highlands. Twenty Desirable Building Lots. The lots are 75 feet wide and range from 150 to 260 feet in depth. Price $350 each. TERMS $30.00 on signing agreement. $12.00 per month for 25 months. No interest or taxes until expiration of agreement. Meredith & Clarke. From the Newport Daily News, December 8, 1930:

The Current Events Club held its regular meeting at the Thomas H. Clarke School Friday afternoon. . . . The following events taken from the daily papers were discussed: “Sir Thomas Lipton,” Flora Hinckley (also by Harold Richardson and Louise Murphy); “Inoculation in Public Schools,” Sidney Hobart; “Water Supply in Newport,” Joseph Martin; “Andree,” Louis Cassese;

Opening of Congress,” Roy Johnson.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 9, 1955:

Jamestown’s quota is $2,317 in the American Red Cross fund campaign for 1956. . . . Anthony J. Miller, chairman of the Junior Red Cross, reported the juniors had made and filled 50 baskets for Thanksgiving tray favors for the Newport Naval Hospital.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 8, 1980:

Sen. John H. Chafee told an audience in Town Hall Saturday afternoon that he is “horrified” that the state plans to build an 86foot-wide Jamestown Bridge.

From the Newport Daily News, December 9, 1980:

The Town Council Monday night entered into a two-year contract with the Jamestown police union. The agreement calls for a pay increase of 17 percent for the first year and no increase in the second year. From the Newport Daily News, December 10, 1980:

The Town Council Monday approved the hiring of the town’s first assistant finance director. . . . Theresa Littlefield will fill the position.

From the Newport Daily News, December 11, 1980:

The Junior Women’s Club served over 400 cups of hot chocolate and doughnuts during the second annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at East Ferry Sunday night.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 6, 1990:

The Army Corps of Engineers last week opened a public comment period on the proposed cross-island highway that will last until Dec. 31. The Corps is currently reviewing the state Department of Transportation’s design plans for the new fourlane highway. Without a permit to alter wetlands from the Corps, DOT cannot begin building the road.

The Champlin Foundations of Providence has announced that it will double its commitment to the Jamestown Philomenian Library Capital Campaign from $125,000 to $250,000. . . . The Jamestown Philomenian Library’s current building was constructed in 1971, entirely from private donations. Subsequently, the board of trustees gave the library to the town of Jamestown, which currently oversees its operation.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 7, 1995:

(photo captions) More than 500 people gathered at East Ferry for the annual Christmas tree lighting Saturday. The (Jamestown) Community Chorus leads the caroling. Santa Claus arrived by boat at East Ferry Saturday afternoon and was escorted by Bill Munger to the Conanicut store. St. Nick was greeted by some 150 youngsters.

Town officials were recently presented with copies of “Historic and Architectural Resources of Jamestown, Rhode Island,” a definitive history of the island. A joint project of the state Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission and the Jamestown Historical Society, the 106-page volume was 20 years in the making.

Return to top