2005-12-15 / Front Page

Unique gifts designed to pluck island heartstrings

By Sam Bari

This year local merchants are offering an abundance of imaginative gifts designed to tug at heartstrings and inspire gift-givers to show their pride in the town where they live by giving presents with a Jamestown flare.

Steve Sherman, owner of Jamestown Hardware, is the exclusive dealer of the Jamestown throw, a comfortable blanket featuring Conanicut Island and historic landmarks woven into a colorful graphic design. Sherman also believes in support for local authors by promoting their work in his store on Narragansett Avenue.

You’ll find Jamestown attorney John Murphy’s new book, “Murphy Was a Lawyer . . . And a Quahogger,” an excellent gift selection, as well as Jamestown resident and author Sue Maden’s book, “The Building Boom in Jamestown, Rhode Island, 19261931.” And James Buttrick’s “Images of America — Jamestown” captures the charm and spirit of Conanicut Island in pictures.

Carol Anderson’s and Debbie Swistak’s store, Jamestown Designs at 17 Narragansett Ave., is a custom frame and fine gift shop that features the works of Jamestown artists. The works of painters Evelyn Rhodes, Alexandra Kent, Kate Petrie, John Mecray, Eileen Muldoon and Joan Hamel, as well as worldrenowned marine photographer, Onne Van Der Wal, are just a few of the artists represented in this fun shop.

Ceramic fish, seahorses, and mermaids by Jillian Barber and Sterling Silver Jamestown bracelets by Dori Hirsch are also featured. And “Larry the Lawnmower” a charming book by Jamestown author Jeanne Archambault, and illustrated by local artist Victoria Corey makes a great gift for young readers.

Nancy Mason of R&R Gallery on Conanicus Avenue tells us that the store is promoting the works of local authors for Christmas gift-giving. John Murphy’s “Murphy Was a Lawyer . . . And a Quahoggoer,” as well as Walter Schroder’s “Hessian Occupation of Newport and RI,” “Striper Chronicals” by Jamestown fisherman Leo Orsi Jr., “100 Years in Jamestown” by John Howard and Sue Maden, and Patrick Hodgkins’ “Jamestown Affairs” can all be found at this popular shop. Jamestown towels, mugs, and tiles, as well as photos, artwork, and historic village models are additional gifts that keep Jamestown in mind.

Marilyn Chapman of Conanicut Marine Services on Narragansett Avenue says that besides Jamestown sweatshirts and T-shirts, the nautical store has Jamestown computer screensavers designed by local artist Kate Petrie.

They also offer such books as “Sudden Sea,” a story about the hurricane of 1938 written by R. A. Scotti. They also have a complete inventory of autographed books written by Walter Schroder. All are available for your Jamestown oriented gift-giving needs at this fine store.

Debbie Goyette’s Purple Door bead shop is featuring a sterling silver Conanicut Island pendant designed by a local artist. This interesting shop sells designer beaded jewelry and 14-karat gold jewelry as well as pearls.

Heidi Lessard of the Secret Garden on Southwest Avenue tells us that on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. they will have a “Larry the Lawnmower” book signing with Jamestown author Jeanne Archambault. The florist and gift store is also selling Christmas in Rhode Island, and Jamestown Christmas ornaments.

Tim Baker, owner of Baker’s Pharmacy, sells Jamestown-oriented gifts year round. Jamestown note cards, mugs, and books by local authors are always available to fulfill gift-giving needs.

David Martin of the Jamestown Humane Society encourages residents and visitors alike to purchase “Jamestown Gifts” for $10 from the humane society. The proceeds are used to help pet owners spay or neuter pets and assist in paying for printed material designed to educate and inform animal lovers about pet care.

Vegetarian cookbooks with healthy recipes from your local friends and neighbors, colorful, durable T-shirts in all sizes (including children’s), hardy and useful canvas tote bags, and 2006 “Jamestown Pets With Personalities” wall calendars are all available at Stearns Farms at the Four Corners for this worthy cause.

Across the bridge, J. H. Breakell & Company at 128 Spring St. in Newport is selling 14-carat gold or sterling silver pins in the shape of Conanicut Island, and another pin in the shape of the Newport Bridge. This fine store features jewelry of uncommon design that represents Jamestown at its best.

This year, and every year, support Jamestown merchants, artists, authors and designers and give a gift that says, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, from Jamestown.

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