2006-01-12 / Editorial

This week in Island history

Compiled by Sue Maden Week of January 12

Compiled by Sue MadenWeek of January 12

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, January 9, 1906:

Not often in the history of the island has brick been shipped from here to Newport for building purposes, but such is the case now. Mr. Fred Anthony has purchased the old-style brick from the ruins of the old farm houses at the north end of the island, and N.S. Littlefield & Son are carting them to Newport, to be placed in Dr. Huntington’s cottage at Cloyne School.

The house and stable of the Goelet Fishing Club at Beavertail are to be repaired and painted. It is several years since the club was last used, having been built for fishing for the large striped bass which used to frequent the surf along the rocks. A few bass are still caught by the local fishermen each year at this point, but not as many or as large ones as formerly.

From the Newport Daily News, January 10, 1906:

The closing of the north district school caused such general dissatisfaction among the residents of that section of the island that the school committee decided to open the school at once, and yesterday it was opened with Miss Harriet Chase of Prudence Island as teacher. Although there are 21 children of school age in that part of town, only three were in attendance yesterday.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 9, 1931:

A well-attended meeting of the Board of Trade was held in the town hall Wednesday evening. . . . A general discussion concerning the present unemployment situation in Jamestown and opinions in relation to a remedy were suggested by many members. I.H. Clarke finally made a motion that a letter be sent to each of the summer taxpayers, requesting that any repairs to their homes here, be made at the present time, to relieve the unemployment here now and the congestion in the spring. This motion was passed. . . . There was considerable discussion on the subject of a federal building in Jamestown and of property now available for such a purpose. Another matter discussed was the lack of lock boxes in the post office, and a committee was appointed to ascertain if additional boxes could be obtained.

From the Newport Daily News, January 12, 1931:

An interesting game of basket ball was played at the Holy Ghost hall by two teams of girls, the “Wild Cats” and the “Skyrockets.” the former winning by a score 36-12. From the Newport Daily News, January 15, 1931:

The new dental clinic apparatus, which was installed in the Carr school Tuesday, was used for the first time Wednesday, when the children were treated. It is proposed to hold a clinic every Wednesday, and oftener if it is found necessary. Miss Marjorie Chase, teacher of the second grade in this school, was appointed by the Superintendent Trowt as assistant to Dr. Friedman.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 10, 1956:

Jamestown, the only community in the state still holding annual elections will seek an enabling act in the General Assembly to hold biennial elections, beginning this year.

The council supported a resolution supporting the Jamestown and Newport Ferry Company effort for the state to buy the assets of the company — two boats and real estate now leased to the state for $1 a year — in the hope that the sale price would wipe out the town’s bonded indebtedness of $269,739 of the ferry company.

Albert Warner, chairman of the Recreation Commission, sought the Council’s approval for installation of bowling alleys at the Recreation Center.

From the Newport Daily News, January 11, 1956:

The Jamestown School Budget of $130,000 proposed for 1956-57, showed an increase of $21,535 over last year. . . . Tuition costs jumped $1,000 due to increases at Rogers High School. Transportation costs are hiked from$7,000 to $10,109. This is caused by expanded bus service required for additional children living more than one mile from the school.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 7, 1981:

Two councilmen Monday night told Newport Electric Corp. officials from Newport (that) they are concerned about proper street lighting on Narragansett Avenue.

From the Newport Daily News, January 8, 1981:

The Washington County Public Health Nursing Association this week asked the Town Council for a $4,000 appropriation for its 1981 budget. The money would cover free nursing services for Jamestown residents, who are unable to pay. It represents an increase of $1,000 more than last year. . . . For the first eight months of 1980 the Nursing Association provided 1,112 hours of service in Jamestown, or 3 percent of the agency’s total time. . . . The request was referred to the Budget Committee.

From the Newport Daily News, January 13, 1981:

The Jamestown Senior Citizens Associated, headed by Paul Carty, asked the Town Council Monday night for support in establishing a senior citizens center on the island. The elders want to renovate the state Department of Transportation garage on Narragansett Avenue. . . . Jamestown has one of the largest proportions of elderly who maintain their own households in the community — half of which were elderly persons living alone. . . . According to the 1970 census, Jamestown had 556 senior citizens and the 1980 projected figure is 649. The only service seniors in Jamestown receive is the senior lunch program, which began in May, 1980. . . . The building is large enough to house kitchen facilities, a dining area, a room for arts and crafts, a room for relaxation, and maybe a game room.

From the Newport Daily News, January 15, 1981:

Gov. Garrahy has promised to try to work out a compromise with federal transportation officials over the width of the proposed replacement for the 40-year-old Jamestown Bridge.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 10, 1991:

Islanders who have been fretting about the loss of the town’s only hardware store won’t have long to wait before a new store takes its place. Jamestown Hardware Limited is slated to open its doors “as soon as possible.”

There is no doubt that the economy is one of the most talked about issues of the day. And with the recent credit union crisis, the weakening economy has even more people worried. . . . A random sampling of Jamestown businesses shows that while people think the economy here is in poor shape, many believe the situation is not as bad as some think.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 11, 1996:

Jamestowners were armed with shovels, snowblowers and snowplows earlier this week as they dug out from a massive winter storm that left much of the East Coast paralyzed.

The Blizzard of ’96 will be costly. The storm put the town of Jamestown about $8,000 over its snow removal budget.

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