2005-12-15 / Editorial

This week in Island history Compiled by Sue Maden

Week of December 15

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 15, 1905:

Local fishermen are preparing for the winter’s trawl fishing. Mr. I.C. Mosher has had the Archie and Hermie hauled out and put in condition for the rough usage, and Messrs. Gomache and Lathan are getting a new set of trawls in readiness.

From the Newport Daily News, December 16, 1905:

The committee to purchase horses for the town visited Newport yesterday, and today Mr. J.F. Sullivan of that place sent a pair here on trial.

From the Newport Daily News, December 18, 1905:

A case of scarlet fever was brought to the attention of the authorities Saturday, and a special meeting of the town council was held in the evening at which it was voted that the patient and family be quarantined until said quarantine be ordered removed by the council.

From the Newport Daily News, December 19, 1905:

Mr. Eugene Peckham is using his new sloop, the White Cap, to ferry brick from the Torpedo Station to Newport.

Several of the young men at the north end of the island are anxious for cold weather to set in. They have built and rigged two iceboats and now want the north reservoir to freeze hard enough for them to try their new craft.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 12, 1930:

Messrs. Harry Pitchers, Andrew Dawson, Walter Marley, Jr., and Miss Eleanor Pitchers, flew from the landing field at Beavertail Wednesday afternoon on a trip around the bay.

From the Newport Daily News, December 13, 1930:

Clues are being traced to the vandals who during the past week destroyed the miniature golf course on Narragansett avenue, and arrests are likely to follow shortly.

Preparations are being perfected for the community Christmas tree, which is being sponsored by the ParentTeachers Association. As heretofore, the tree will be on the village green, near the new fire station. Mrs. Arthur Didsbury is chairman of the exercises and is planning an excellent program of Christmas carols which will be sung by a large chorus.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 13, 1955:

(At the Town Council meeting) Dr. Gobeille reported on his conference with Rear Adm. Ralph C. Earle, commander of the Newport Naval base, about opening the Beavertail area the year round. Thirty members of the civic organizations, who are interested in having the area opened to the public who were present, assured the Council of their cooperation to maintain order and prevent vandalism. The area has been closed by the Navy since World War II, except for a few summer months the past two years when it was opened with the town and the Navy each furnishing a guard to police the area.

From the Newport Daily News, December 14, 1955:

A program of adult education will be offered next September, the Jamestown School Committee announced at its meeting last night. . . . (Superintendent, Anthony J.) Miller announced the rate of tuition to Rogers High School effective for the last quarter of the 1955-56 school year has been increased from $258 to $286 per year. Jamestown sends 56 pupils to Rogers.

From the Newport Daily News, December 17, 1955:

Purchase of the ferryboats and other property of the Jamestown-Newport Ferry Authority, which now leases them, would be authorized in legislation recommended by the ferry company at a meeting in Jamestown last night. . . . When the state took over the ferry system five years ago, it was agreed that the operating profits would be used to reduce the ferry company debt.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 12, 1980:

The School Committee is faced with a proposed 15.7 percent tuition increase for 196 island students at North Kingstown High School. At Rogers High School, five students are currently in vocational classes and 10 are expected next year. A tuition boost of 15 percent is forecast there. . . . The current tuition cost at NKHS for 196 students is $281,000. If the 15.7 (percent) increase goes through, this figure will jump to $328,000, projecting an additional 10 students.

From the Newport Daily News, December 16, 1980:

The width of the proposed Jamestown Bridge has increased to 88.86 feet and residents may expect a four-lane road across the island to connect with Newport Bridge, it was learned last night.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 13, 1990:

Members of the Penguin Club, over 300 hearty souls, will once again plunge into the icy waters of Mackerel Cove to raise money for the Rhode Island Special Olympics. The Town Council Monday night granted the club use of the town-owned beach for its annual New Year’s day event that draws hundreds of spectators.

The Jamestown Design Committee last Thursday urged the state Department of Transportation to keep lighting on the new cross-island highway to a minimum needed for adequate safety.

Jamestowner Chris Powell is the first recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 14, 1995:

Although the new Zoning Ordinance was just adopted, it may still get some fine tuning in the form of additional amendments. The Town Council Monday voted to have the Planning Commission make recommendations on five still contested items in the ordinance. (These included B & Bs and open space.)

An island-based company had a hand in creating newlyreleased computer software that will help manage the cleanup of major oil spills. Jamestown Marine Services came up with the concept of OSARMS (Oil Spill Automatic Response Management Systems) following the World Prodigy oil spill in 1989.

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