2006-09-21 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of September 21
Compiled by Sue Maden

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, September 18, 1906:

The controlling interest in the Enterprise Transportation Company, whose steamers have been stopping here on their way between Fall River and New York since the first of May, has been acquired by the Dupont Powder Company of Wilmington, Del., and speculations are rife as to the real interest behind the sale.

From the Newport Daily News, September 19, 1906:

One of the handsomest shipments of potatoes from here this season was taken across the ferry yesterday by Mr. Joseph Peckham of Middletown. They were raised on the Wharton farm at Beavertail.

From the Newport Daily News, September 22, 1906:

The extension to Bay View drive from its northerly point to Potter's Point and thence northwesterly to join the East Main road, is nearly complete.

To accommodate the numerous parties of fishermen who visit south shores of the island each week, steamer Conanicut will make an earlier trip at 7 and Newport at 7:30 a.m.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 18, 1931:

Moving operations of the Anderson cottage on the east shore road (sic) have commenced and the moving of the Rhett cottage on Friendship street has been completed.

From the Newport Daily News, September 19, 1931:

(At the Town Council meeting) Lewis W. Hull and William A. Barber comprise a committee to call a special financial town meeting to appropriate a sum of money not to exceed $900 to employ expert engineers to investigate the proposed increase in water rates. (The Newport Water Company was privately owned.)

From the Newport Daily News, September 23, 1931:

Fishing is taking precedence over all forms of sport just now and many fishermen are seen on the rocks at Beavertail each day

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 18, 1956:

Dr. Benjamin Talbot Brooks, of New York City, described as an outstanding chemical authority and petroleum consultant, has been engaged to assist in drafting ordinances that will permit construction of an oil refinery in Jamestown.

The Jamestown Town Council last night accepted the $10,300 bid of the J.M. Cleminshaw Co. of Cleveland to revalue the town's ratable property and the company was directed to proceed with the work as soon as possible.

At the special financial town meeting held July 2 it was voted to name an unbiased committee to study the recreation program. . . . . (The chairman of the committee) said last week the committee feels the town should have a study made by an outside agency such as the National Recreation Assn.

From the Newport Daily News, September 22, 1956:

The Jamestown Bridge Commission last night approved a recommended estimated budget of $112,954 for the fiscal year ending November 30, 1957.Following inspection of the bridge Sept. 5, the engineers recommended that maintenance work for 1957 include painting the girder spans, $7,000; repairing concrete piers, $12,000; replacing timber encasements on 20 concrete piles, $5,500; and replacing light fixtures from sodium vapor to mercury vapor.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, September 22, 1981:

One Jamestown resident may be getting a check instead of a bill from the electric company this winter because of a home improvement made four years ago. William Wharton Smith III of Hull's Cove installed a windmill on his property and has had very minimal electric bills ever since. Newport Electric Co. will be monitoring Smith's power production this fall and will work out some type of credit arrangement for any excess power he puts back into the system.

From the Newport Daily News, September 23, 1981:

... Last month, 455,016 vehicles crossed the Newport Bridge, 33, 539 more vehicles than during August 1980. . . . Last month's Newport Bridge revenue was $703,218 compared to $629,354 for August 1980. Expenses were $309,636 compared to $268,832.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, September 19, 1991:

The Old Jamestown Bridge was set to be closed to all vehicles weighing 5 tons or more yesterday at noon, prohibiting school buses, commuter buses, and trucks larger than pickup trucks from using the 50-year-old span that is suffering from recently discovered pier damage. The immediate problem Jamestown officials faced was how to transport 270 students off the island to school. . . . The plan the school department worked out with the bus company and the bus drivers will include 12 passenger vans to shuttle students back and forth across the bridge.

State officials expect work on the new problemplagued Jamestown Bridge to be nearly completed by the beginning of next summer.

A $30,000 cleanup project to remove hurricane debris and old pilings from East Ferry Marina was scheduled to begin yesterday.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, September 19, 1996:

Jamestown so far is free of mosquitoes carrying Eastern equine encephalitis and no pesticides have been sprayed on the island.

Jamestown students scored above the state average in every measure of academic performance in the recently released 1995 statewide school district profiles and student performance records.

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