2006-03-23 / Editorial

This week in Island history

Compiled by Sue Maden Week of March 23

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 20, 1906:

Last night's snow and rain, added to the previous muddy condition of the streets and sidewalks, have made it almost impossible to get about without rubber boots.

From the Newport Daily News, March 23, 1906:

The local farmers are busy today carting seed potatoes from Newport.

From the Newport Daily News, March 24, 1906:

One of the coal bins for the Ferry Company has been completed and a cargo of pea coal for use on the ferry is expected to arrive Monday.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, March 20, 1931:

The Jamestown town council, at a special meeting Thursday evening, voted an investigation of the Newport Water Works service, curtailments prior to the completion of the yearly contract unless paid in advance. . . Discussion indicated that a number of Jamestown residents have had their domestic supply cut off, and are aggrieved and cannot secure any redress without some action by the town.

George R, Manders, Beavertail light keeper, reports that the installation of steam heat and electricity had been completed at the lighthouse.

From the Newport Daily News, March 23, 1931:

The ringing of box 2 at 10 o'clock last evening, calling the firemen to what was thought to be a grass fire near the north end of the island, was followed shortly by a call from box 34, for a fire at the Benjamin Hull farm on North Main road. The apparatus and a large force of volunteer firemen were soon at the scene, but as the fire must have had a good start, the house was practically doomed before the arrival of the firemen. . . . Mr. Hull who died a few years ago, lived there for more than 50 years.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, March 21, 1956:

The Jamestown Bridge Commission last night authorized its chairman John B. Foley to negotiate with the Town Council on the Council's request for special tolls for town vehicles. The town is now buying its gravel for road repair from North Kingstown, which requires frequent bridge trips by town trucks.

From the Newport Daily News, March 27, 1956:

The Jamestown Town Council will ask Gov. Dennis J. Roberts to introduce legislation providing for a police court in Jamestown.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, March 20, 1981:

School Superintendent Alfred J. LaMarche was praised by the School Committee last night for his initiative in locating additional state aid for capital improvement projects at Jamestown School. These funds are retroactive to July 1, 1980 and will total $21, 586. . . . At the April 2 work session, bids for an architect to draw plans for the activity room in the all-purpose room will be opened, fee schedule for public use of the school building will be reviewed and the proposed bus route for high school students will be reviewed. From the Newport Daily News, March 24, 1981:

The Town Council Monday night asked residents who would like to serve on the nine-member Senior Citizens Advisory Committee to come contact any Councilman before the April 13 Council meeting.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, March 21, 1991:

The Town Council last Friday met with top-ranking members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Waltham, Mass., to discuss key issues surrounding the new cross-island highway.

A rejected proposal to build a senior center resurfaced Monday night when the Town Council met as the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners. Joseph Perry and Peter Molloy gave the council a final draft of a proposal they made in December to build a $385,000 senior activities center on a parcel of land the Holy Ghost Society is willing to lease to the town for $1 a year for 99 years. This proposal was voted down by the Senior Center Study Committee last month because of "concern that building could not be expanded to meet future space requirements". . . . Perry told the council that he and Malloy wanted to submit the final draft to the council despite the fact that it was rejected by the commission.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, March 21, 1996:

State Department of Health findings indicate that Jamestown's municipal water supply is free of cancercausing asbestos fibers.

Despite the island's water-supply problems, islanders hooked into the municipal system are using more water than ever. According to the February pumping report reviewed by the Town Council Monday, water use is up nearly 30 percent over last year, from 5,505,000 gallons to 7,109,000 gallons for the month.

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