2006-12-28 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of December 28
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, December 27, 1906:

The Jamestown Brass Band will give the second of a series of whists and socials the last of this week.

From the Newport Journal, December 29, 1906:

Skating on the reservoir and Peckham’s ponds is good and the younger set is enjoying the sport. The older boys are trying several new ice boats.

Armed with a warrant charging the maintaining of a place where gambling and chance games were carried on, Officers Chandler, Mosher, and Littlefield descended on the Seaside Club on Narragansett avenue, shortly before midnight Saturday. The officers broke in the door and made a minute search of the building and sheds adjoining, but found nothing to sustain the charge.

From the Newport Daily News, December 31, 1906:

A number of young men are arranging for a dance the latter part of the week.

The local fishermen are making good catches of cod, but the price obtainable is still low.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 24, 1931:

All that was needed to make a perfect Christmas scene at the community tree exercises last evening was a little snow. The large tree was beautifully decorated with colored lights. Christmas decorations and trees could be seen in the brightly lighted homes nearby. The full moon made the scene almost as light as day, and the lights at St. Mark’s Church, adjoining the village green, made a delightful picture.

From the Newport Daily News, December 28, 1931:

The Jamestown Basket Ball League will open its season tonight in the Holy Ghost Society hall. The four teams — the Trojans, Allen Chase , manager; Shamrocks, John Lyons, manager; Holy Ghost Society team, Manuel Morinho, manager; and the Pirates, Elliott Walsh — manager, seem to be very evenly matched, and it is predicted that some exciting games are in store for the fans.

From the Newport Daily News, December 29, 1931:

The Jamestown Town Council Monday night filed an application with the U.S. Department of the Interior to acquire the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center at Beavertail.

A bridge and whist for the benefit of the Jamestown unemployed and sponsored by the American Legion, Jamestown Post, will be held at the town hall tomorrow evening.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 28, 1956:

The Jamestown Town Council last night took exception to the Newport Council’s recent protest against the proposed oil refinery in Jamestown. Its exception will be made in a letter.

Highlights of the Jamestown year, even surpassing the question of whether Republicans or Democrats won General Assembly seats, was the continuing dissension over the proposed $30,000,000 oil refinery.

Of the 11 Jamestown bills introduced (to the General Assembly) during the season seven passed, including those authorizing a one year trial of parking meters in the downtown section of Jamestown and a permanent police force. But the latter was defeated 2 to 1 by paper ballot at the financial town meeting and the meter bill by voice vote.

A substantial turnover in teaching personnel was noted this year. Because of the teacher shortage, qualified wives of Navy personnel stationed in the area were called in to help.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 24, 1981:

The proposed new Jamestown Bridge, its connector road, disappearing town water supply and a Republican victory in Jamestown were high on the list of priorities and news stories during 1981. . . . After four years the Planning Commission presented the Town Council with a new zoning ordinance. . . . The Jamestown School Committee received a shock in November, when the North Kingstown School Committee announced that it was raising the tuition rate for Jamestown students. The rate was increased from $1,804 to $2,354, about a 33 percent boost. This will add approximately $2.30 to the current tax rate. . . . To mark the beginning of 1981 The Penguins took to the water at noon on New Year’s Day at Mackerel Cove. There were 181 who took the plunge in the frigid ocean. . . . During the March 2 financial town meting, a budget of nearly $3 million was approved by voters after a “pretty dormant” meeting with a minimum of controversy.

The Jamestown Penguins will take the sixth annual plunge New Year’s Day at noon at Mackerel Cove. All proceeds go to Special Olympics.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 24, 1991:

Jamestown’s annual Christmas Pageant, a moving celebration that is an integral part of the island’s holiday tradition, gets underway this evening at 5:30 at the Shoreby Hill Green.

Jamestown’s senior citizens may have one more reason for celebrating the holiday season after this week’s Town Council meeting. Officers of the Holy Ghost Society Monday were expected to finally sign an agreement that would allow the town to lease a society-owned parcel of land for use as a senior activities center for 99 years at a cost of $1 a year.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 24, 1996:

The School Committee has appointed Dr. Frances Gallo the new superintendent/principal of the Jamestown School.

Make way for the angels, wise men, shepherds and the donkey! The 21st annual Christmas Pageant will be at 5 p.m. tonight under a full moon on the Shoreby Hill Green.

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