2006-02-09 / News

Historical society acquires old Bay View Hotel sign

The Jamestown Historical Society recently purchased at auction the original sign from the Bay View Hotel. The sign measures 18 feet long. The Jamestown Historical Society recently purchased at auction the original sign from the Bay View Hotel. The sign measures 18 feet long. The Jamestown Historical Society recently acquired a portion of a former Jamestown landmark.

The Bay View Hotel sign, which hung on the building at the corner of Conanicus and Narragansett avenues, greeted thousands of visitors for many years:

The sign, which measures 18 feet long and 2 feet high, was mounted on the roof of the porch of the hotel that over looked Conanicus Avenue, the old ferry landing and Narragansett Bay to the east.

The island historical society purchased the sign on short notice at a recent auction in Portsmouth. The sign is in relatively good shape, as are its painted letters.

Relatively little is known about the sign’s history. For the past 20 years the sign has been kept in a Jamestown attic or basement.

In 1985, the sign could be seen on the hotel’s porch roof when the hotel was sold and demolished. The structure was replaced by the Bay View condominiums.

The historical society does not know when the sign was installed on the hotel. In 1900, the Bay View had a sign on the Narragansett Avenue south frontage that read, “The Bay View House.”

If anyone has specific information on the sign they may call Sue Maden in Jamestown.

The sign’s future exact location is not clear, either.

The Jamestown Historical Society is currently working on ambitious plans to create more storage space to its collection, including environmentally controlled rooms for fragile objects.

The society is also well along in digitally recording all its old photographs and objects that will then be available for viewing on the society’s Web site. This timeconsuming digital project is expected to be mostly completed by this summer, and then it will be ongoing for new acquisitions.

The society is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff that is dedicated to preserving and encouraging interest in Jamestown’s past. Anyone wishing to volunteer or to learn how to catalog is encouraged to contact the historical society.

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