2007-01-11 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of January 11
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 8, 1907:

Dr. H. Warren Buckler of Baltimore has leased the Littlefield cottage on Union street for the season of 1907. Dr. Buckler has taken over the office fixtures of Dr. D. B. Birney and will practice here during the summer.

From the Newport Daily News, January 10, 1907:

A 60-pound codfish was caught yesterday with hook and line in the west bay by Mr. Andrew King.

From the Newport Daily News, January 15, 1907:

Three-masted schooner Bravo, from St. Martin, Danish West Indies, for Boston, with a cargo of salt, has been anchored in Dutch Island harbor several days awaiting favorable weather.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 7, 1932:

A meeting of the Board of Trade was held Tuesday evening, with a large number of members attending. . . . A letter from the Jamestown Coal Company was received in which additional coal with that already donated is to be received by the board to distribute to the unemployed.

From the Newport Daily News, January 8, 1932:

A meeting of the Jamestown Philomenian Library was held at the library this week when the librarian reported that there are 10,468 volumes in the library and the number of volumes in circulation during the year amounted to 10,672. Under the card system adopted in 1930, 826 cards have been issued to date and 347 new books have been acquired during the past year.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 9, 1957:

Jamestown's school budget of $139,873 for 1957-58, as approved by the School Committee last night, is an increase of $11,417 over last year. The salary schedule for teachers in the system, setting a minimum of $3,400 effective September 1, 1957, is an increase of $200 over this year. . . . In addition to raising teachers' salaries, tuition costs jumped $1,344 for town pupils at Rogers High School

From the Newport Daily News, January 10, 1957:

The Jamestown Protective Association, which is opposing the proposed erection of an oil refinery on the isaccept land, has appealed to the National Park Service for "help in resisting the attempt to destroy a great natural recreational area."

From the Newport Daily News, January 14, 1957:

Robert Potter of East Shore Road and Arthur Lathan of North Road who won the striped bass tournament conducted by the Jamestown Striper's Club received prizes yesterday afternoon at the club's annual banquet in St. Mark's parish hall. More than 100 members and guests attended.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 8, 1982:

William Wharton Smith III has become the first county resident to be able to sell electricity to the Newport Electric Corp. The electricity will come from his windmill. . . . Smith's windmill is a Jacobs from a ranch in Montana. It was made in the 1930s. The windmill and the support equipment are surplus items, a factor that kept the costs down to between $3,000 and $4,000. A new system of comparable size would cost about $10,000. The windmill is capable or producing 300 to 600 kilowatts a month but half that production remains in Smith's storage batteries. It is able to produce enough electricity to provide his household needs and run a small workshop.

Jamestown's 65 volunteer firefighters can feel a little more secure when they battle blazes and rescue people. The late George Chandler's will provides $150,000 of his estate for the volunteer Fire Department's relief fund. That sum is ten times as much as the fund contained before.

From the Newport Daily News, January 12, 1982:

Three prominent engineering firms have been selected to assist in designing the new Jamestown Bridge, Wendall J. Flanders, director of the state Department of Transportation, announced today. The firms are Sverdrup & Parcel of St. Louis, Mo., for the role of management consultants; T. Y. Lin International of San Francisco, selected for design for a concrete bridge; and Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff of Kansas City, Mo., selected for the design of a steel bridge.

The Jamestown Town Council agreed Monday night to a proposed new Jamestown Bridge no wider than 62 feet. The bridge is to have four 12-foot travel lanes, a central barrier and two breakdown lanes.

15 years ago From the January Press, January 9, 1992:

Town Council members agreed in principle last Saturday to reduce their salaries by 10 percent in the coming year. The move was a good faith effort made by the council to show its effort to create a lean 1992-93 budget. Council members earned $1,710 each under the 1991-92 budget.

The Jamestown Philomenian Library will receive a $700,000 loan to begin building a proposed $1.2 million addition.

Nineteen birders participated in the 8th annual Conanicut Island Christmas Bird Count on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Four birders watched their bird feeders, while the remainder were field observers. The mild weather in the morning was quite ideal for birding in spite of the clouds and impending rain; the afternoon was not so inviting with wind and rain. The total number of species counted was 62, significantly higher than last year and, in fact, the second highest total of Christmas Bird Counts in Jamestown.

The Town Council closed out 1991 on a controversial note as residents of the island's north end voiced opposition to the state's proposed plan to improve North Road and one council member refused to endorse the statemandated comprehensive community plan.

About 300 hardy souls waddled into the bay at Mackerel Cove town beach on New Year's Day for the 16th annual Jamestown Penguin Plunge. It was a sunny, beautiful day capped by blue skies. The thermometer climbed toward the 50-degree mark, while the water temperature was a warm 44 degrees.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 9, 1997:

Issues relating to equability in hourly wages for nonteachers dominated the Jamestown School Committee's Tuesday night budget work session. Citing difficulties in hiring and keeping help in some lower-paying positions, the committee agreed to raise some hourly wages beyond the 3.5 percent across-the-board increases they are targeting for the upcoming school year.

The Jamestown Fire Department recently paid off its $157,000 loan from the Bank of Newport for an almost new engine and tanker. The two fire trucks were purchased about two years ago for $207,000.

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