2005-12-29 / Letters to the Editor

This week in Island history

Compiled by Sue Maden Week of December 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, December 27, 1905:

The Christmas subscription dance held last evening in the Gardner House hall, under the management of Miss Jessie E. Knowles, was largely attended, a number of people from out of town being present. The hall was prettily decorated with mistletoe, holly, festoons of creeping Jenny and colored crepe paper. Howard’s orchestra of Newport furnished music.

From the Newport Daily News, December 29, 1905:

Today’s storm, while not severe enough to cause serious damage, prevented all outside work and few people were seen on the streets. The frost is so nearly out of the ground that the roads are as muddy as they are in the spring. A weak spot has developed in the macadam in front of the Bay View on Narragansett avenue; also at the junction of Walcott and Narragansett avenues.

From the Newport Daily News, December 30, 1905:

Monday being New Year’s, the post office will be open only between the hours of 8 and 9:30 a.m. and 4 and 5:30 p.m.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 29, 1930:

All plans are perfected for the New Year’s Eve dance which is to be held at the Grange Hall Wednesday evening, with Congdon’s orchestra furnishing the music. From the Newport Daily News, December 31, 1930:

The fifth game in the whist and bridge series being conducted by the local post of the American Legion was held in the town hall last evening, seven tables of whist and four of bridge playing.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 27, 1955: The Jamestown Golf and Country Club will sponsor New Year’s Eve party at the Bay View Hotel with dancing from 9:30 to 1:30.

From the Newport Daily News, December 28, 1955:

The Jamestown Town Council last night, by resolution, placed all town employees, except the school custodians, under cash sickness and unemployment compensation benefits.

“No worthwhile job in the property revaluation of this community for tax equalization purposes can be done for $7,000,” Richard S. Nesser of the J.M. Cleminshaw Co., of Cleveland, Ohio, told the Town Council last night. That amount has been appropriated by the town for a revaluation project.

From the Newport Daily News, December 30, 1955:

The Christmas count of birds on Conanicut Island, taken yesterday, turned up 59 different species. The individual bird count totaled 3,316 of which the herring gull, approximately 600, was the most numerous. There were nine species of ducks seen, the most numerous being 493 redbreasted mergansers. Birds normally seen at this time of year and missing in the count yesterday included purple finches, bluebirds and cedar waxwings. The severe cold spell and the hurricanes which destroyed the natural feeding grounds were considered responsible for the scarcity of birds normally seen at this time of year.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 26, 1980:

The Town Council this week authorized a three-year contract with the York Wasterwater Treatment Corp. of Stamford, Conn., to operate the town’s sewage plant. The pact establishes a 9 percent increase next year.

From the Newport Daily News, December 29, 1980:

The Penguins plan their fifth annual New Year’s Day dip at Mackerel Cove Thursday noon. Proceeds will go to R.I. Special Olympics. . . . Starting five years ago with only 13 participants, by New Year’s day 1980 the group had swelled to 150. But balmy weather a year ago Thursday may have added to the crowd. The temperature hit 40 degrees that day, and the water was 38.

15 years ago

The Jamestown Press was not published the week of December 29.

10 years ago

The Jamestown Press was not published the week of December 29.

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