2007-01-04 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of January 4
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, January 2, 1907:

On account of the slackness of building and other work on the island, more than the usual number of men are following fishing for the winter.

From the Newport Daily News, January 3, 1907:

The matinees in the Newport Opera House this week are well attended by people from this town.

From the Newport Daily News, January 4, 1907:

There is considerable speculation as to whether the deer reported in Portsmouth is not the same one that was captured recently in Dutch Island harbor and kept at Fort Greble until it became tame enough to eat from the hands of soldiers. This deer was a two-year-old buck, but shed its antlers while at the garrison. It was allowed to roam around and 10 days ago disappeared, either swimming to the Jamestown or the Narragansett shore. As wild deer are naturally very timid the tameness of the one in Portsmouth might be accounted for by its being the one from Fort Greble.

From the Newport Daily News, January 5, 1907:

The exceptionally mild weather for winter still continues and the travel on the ferry was unusually heavy for January.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 1, 1932:

Conanicut Grange hall was the scene of a gay and enjoyable dancing party last evening. … At the stroke of 12 and as 1931 made its exit, noisemakers of all kinds were distributed and attractive paper hats were donned by the dancers. The noise was deafening as all horns, whistles, rang bells and brought into play many other noise pro- ducing articles (sic). The Racketeers orchestra gave a program of splendid music.

A contest of 25 prizes, sponsored by the Board of Trade, was held last evening at the office of Meredith & Clarke on the wharf, the entire proceeds of which will be used for the relief of those in need in Jamestown.

From the Newport Daily News, January 2, 1932:

The civic committee for the unemployed of Jamestown held a meeting Thursday evening. . . . A large amount of business was transacted but the item of interest was preparing a definite plan of unemployment. . . . It was rumored that the civic committee would pay at the rate of $2.50 per day. This gave the wrong impression as the committee had practically decided to pay the present scale of wages for labor employed – the minimum 50 cents per hour for unskilled labor and the standard pay for any trade labor, and a vote to this effect was passed, stipulating that no one person should be allowed to receive more than $16 in any one week.

From the Newport Daily News, January 5, 1932:

The State Board of Public Roads put 14 unemployed men to work on the roads Monday, and the civic committee under the direction of the town council gave work to 10 men who will be paid from a fund raised by the American Legion, Board of Trade and popular donations, There were also 12 of the list unemployed working at the crusher. These will be paid from the funds borrowed from the state.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 2, 1957:

Jamestown started the New Year with no major accidents on its icy roads, thanks partly to police warnings which kept many motorists off the highway, and partly to changes in New Year’s Eve closing hours of restaurants. This helped to prevent congestion on the streets at any one time. Five persons called the police for transportation to their homes. The Town Council had granted permission to restaurants to remain open until 2:30 a.m. but most were closed by 2. … The bars closed at 1 and patrons started leaving soon thereafter.

From the Newport Daily News, January 5, 1957:

An appeal to President Eisenhower to investigate the “preservation of southern Narragansett Bay against the encroachment of an oil refinery” has been made by the Jamestown Protective Assn.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 2, 1982:

Despite a soaking easterly rain and choppy seas, about 200 Penguins took Jamestown’s sixth annual New Year’s Day plunge Friday noon. An estimated crowd of 2,500 watched the event.

From the Newport Daily News, January 5, 1982:

Barry Butler, assistant recreation director, announced today that the Recreation Department will sponsor the second session for gymnastics. Instructor is Lorene Ryan.

15 years ago:

The Jamestown Press was not published the week of January 4, 1992

10 years ago: The Jamestown Press was not published the week of January 4, 1997.

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