2006-03-02 / News

This week in Island history

Compiled by Sue Maden Week of March 2

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, March 5, 1906:

The roads were gullied quite badly in places by the heavy rain Sunday morning.

A gang of J.C. Terry’s men are at work driving spiles between the ferry bridge and the head of the old dock, for one of the coal bins to be built by the Ferry Company.

Mr. P.H. Horgan has moved three large pine trees from in front of Thorndike cottage No. 3 to the rear of the Thorndike, to screen the kitchen of the hotel from the Homer cottage.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, March 4, 1931:

Joseph Martin Sr., who for the past 19 years has leased the Beavertail farm from Joseph Wharton heirs is to move from there June 24 and will make his home with his son Joseph Jr., who has recently purchased the John Brazil property on Lawn avenue. . . . During his stay on the farm Mr. Martin has supplied many summer residents and hotels with milk and vegetables and much of the milk produced was sent to Newport, the daily average being 250 quarts. Many poor families have been supplied with milk and vegetables. The 300-acre farm is to be divided into house lots and thus passes one more of the old New England farms which has been the pride of many farmers since the purchase of the island from the Indians.

Graduation exercises for nurses in Dr. Bates’s Sanitarium were held at “Maplewood.”

About 20 men were given employment on the town’s roads yesterday, and an additional 10 were employed on the state highway along the east shore.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, March 3, 1956:

The state was asked yesterday to buy outright for $270,000 the ferries and other property of the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Co. The proposal is that the state pay over a 10-year period. Identical bills to that effect were introduced in the Senate and House yesterday by Sen. Alton Head Jr. and Rep. Lewis W. Hull, Jamestown Republicans. The measures went to the finance committees. The state has been operating the ferries since 1951 through a Jamestown Ferry Authority on a nominal lease of $1 a year. The operation, however, has not been financially successful. The state had to appropriate $91,700 last year to make possible $65,000 repairs to slips and wipe out an operating deficit of $26,700.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, March 3, 1981:

Voters Monday night adopted a $2.99 million budget at the annual financial town meeting, which will represent a tax increase of about $3 per $1,000 valuation. The 224 voters approved the town budget presented by the Town Council and added $3,700 more for the third lifeguard at Mackerel Cove Beach and repairs to the Little League field and backstop. . . . A breakdown of the budget shows General Government, $274,807; Finance Dept., $47,876; Tax Assessor’s Dept., $13,624; Public Safety, $355,965; Public Works, $277,861; Public welfare, $4,554; Public health, $11,550; Animal control, $16,072; Philomenian Library, $41,314; Parks and recreation, $91,566; Debt service, $142,039; Miscellaneous, $6,650.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, February 28, 1991:

Two Town Council members Monday night expressed frustration over the state Department of Transportation’s lack of communication in regard to the cross-island connector road.

The Town Council wants to become “fully involved” in the state Department of Environmental Management’s investigation of all septic permits issued in Jamestown over the past 12 years.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, February 29, 1996:

Martin S. Hellewell, chairman of the Zoning Board of Review for the past 15 years, has resigned from his post.

The Town Council Monday voted to create a committee that should determine the best use of the town-owned golf course and report its findings in nine months. The town now leases the golf course to Joseph Mistowski for $40,579 a year and the Country Club Restaurant located on the property to Charles Masso for $13,824 annually.

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