2007-02-01 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of February 1
Compiled by Sue Maden

The news of 10 and 15 years ago is from the Jamestown Press. The news of 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 30, 1907:

Several of the local horsemen visited Newport yesterday to try out their fast horses on Bellevue avenue.

From the Newport Daily News, January 31, 1907:

Mr. George Howland has completed the work of taking the school census. His report shows a total of 204 children of school age on the island, an increase of 18 over last year.

From the Newport Daily News, February 2, 1907:

The ice has left the west bay and the fishermen are busy with their trawls. Good catches are being made and shipped to New York by the Enterprise Line, the price obtainable there being better than at Newport.

The thaw coming so soon after last heavy fall of snow has made the street sand sidewalks almost impassable.

From the Newport Daily News, February 4, 1907:

Mr. J. K. Sullivan is baling and shipping to his Newport stable a large quantity of hay from the Hull Cove farm here.

The sounding of four blasts, repeated on a deep-throated whistle, at 9:50 o'clock Saturday night was the signal by which Captain Treaser Brown of steamer Warren of the Enterprise Line made known that his vessel was in distress. . . . (T)he ship ran her prow high up on a shelving rock forming part of the Dumpling group.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 29, 1932:

Under questioning by Judge Max Levy, Charles W. Sherman this morning, at the water hearing in Providence, estimated the depreciated reproduction costs of the Jamestown division of the Newport Water Corporation at $244,000. According to his figures the total reproduction cost of the holdings at Jamestown is $331,000 and total accrued depreciation $87,000.

(At a School Committee meeting a communication was read on) the Unemployment Relief Fund … who requested that every effort be made to keep pupils in the school. . . . Superintendent Trowt reported two radios have been placed in the Thomas H. Clarke school for trial. . . . Anthony Miller has completed the school census, and reports 242 boys and 244 girls, a total of 486 persons of school age.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, February 1, 1957:

A reduction in toll rates on the Jamestown bridge affecting three classifications went into effect at midnight last night. All roundtrip tickets were done away with on passenger auto or trucks with capacity to 2,000 pounds. One-way tolls, formerly 85 cents, are now 75 cents and the commuter's 12-trip book formerly $3 good for 10 consecutive days is reduced to $2.50 and the time limit is extended to 15 days. The 16-trip book good for one year formerly $6.40 is reduced to $6. . . . A motorcycle including side car with passenger and a bicycle and rider, 25 each way.

A new dancing class for school children was started this afternoon at the Jamestown School under the auspices of the Jamestown Parent Teachers Assn.

From the Newport Daily News, February 2, 1957:

Dutch Island in the bay's west passage off Jamestown may become either a wildlife refuge or the site of a boy's camp, according to John L. Rego, state director of agriculture and conservation.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 29, 1982:

Island teachers have agreed to put off all pay raises for six months to help the School Department lower the budget for the fiscal year beginning March 1.

From the Newport Daily News, February 2, 1982:

Penguin Excelsiors, Steve Hughes and Michael McGovern, last month presented a check for $5,000 to Stephen Evangelista, executive director of Rhode Island Special Olympics. The Jamestown Penguin Club raised the money during its annual Penguin Plunge on New Year's Day at Mackerel Cove in Jamestown. More than 250 Penguins braved the bitter cold.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 30, 1992:

The School Committee will take its $4 million budget before the Town Council for a second time this Saturday at 9 a.m. . . . At last Saturday's workshop, (Linnea) Petersen said the 1992-92 school budget was $259,657 higher than last year's. A breakdown shows $218,308 of the increase would come from an additional $88,019 in tuition fees to North Kingstown High School, a $92,609 hike in special education expenses, and a $36,680 cost increase from operating two school buildings instead of one.

Faced with "unprecedented budget problems," town officials want to immediately renegotiate contracts the town has with employees in the clerks union, police union and highway department union in order to reduce pay increases and other benefits.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 30, 1997:

Unsafe levels of coliform bacteria have been found in 18 of 122 well-water samples taken from homes on the island's north end during a study conducted by the town's Groundwater Study Committee.

Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Bolles has been instructed to order materials to construct a town skating rink at the softball field on Lawn Avenue.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has started the first part of their four-phase plan to restore parts of Narragansett Bay that were hit by the World Prodigy oil spill. . . . Part one of NOAA's four-part plan is to create reefs for lobster habitat and place them in Dutch Harbor. There are six reefs made of 48 inches of cobblestone and six to eight inches of boulder. The reefs are 30 by 60 feet, and will take up about 600 cubic yards 15 feet under water.

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