2008-01-10 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of January 10
Compiled by Sue Maden

The news of 10 and 15 years ago is from the Jamestown Press. The news of 100 years ago came from the collection of the Newport Historical Society.

100 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 9, 1908

Mr. Seth Pierce is tearing down the cottage on Knowles court known as "Scup Hall."

At one time this morning 10 towboats with an aggregate tow of over 30 barges were leaving the two entrances of the bay, and those were not all that sought the shelter of these waters to ride out the storm as others are still anchored off both shores of the island.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 7, 1933

The town has commenced building operations on a shed 25-by 45 in the rear of the town hall for housing town trucks and storage.

From the Newport Daily News, January 13, 1933

It was voted (by the town council) to receive and place on the file the report of the American Legion committee and to accept the gift of the Memorial gates. (These gates were for the cemetery at the Four Corners; mention is made of them later in the Jamestown news column of January 13 in a meeting report of the American Legion.)

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 8, 1958

Jamestown's school budget of $166,838 for 1958-59, was approved by the School Committee last night. It is an increase of $26,965 over last year.

From the Newport Daily News, January 10, 1958

The promises of Commerce Oil Refinery officers of much employment and high wages in connection with its proposed Jamestown plant were challenged today by Capt. E. J. Tiernan, Narragansett Bay Homeowners Assn. president. … (Harold A.) Geller was quoted as saying the refinery will employ 25 top executives at salaries beapproval $18,000 and $30,000 each, 10 supervisory workers at $15,000 and 24 foremen at $10,000. This makes a total of 59 executives. Tiernan's figures indicate that only seven executives are required. … As to other employees, Tiernan said, most would have to be members of the Refinery union. Due to cutbacks and layoffs, many such employees now are idle and would have preference at Jamestown, he emphasized.

From the Newport Daily News, January 12, 1958

An attempt by the Commerce Oil Refining Corp. to block a suit by Jamestowners seeking to prevent construction of an offshore loading and unloading terminal was overruled yesterday by Superior Court Judge Fred B. Perkins.

The Jamestown Bridge could be free of debt by 1964-65 and must be clear of debt and toll free by 1969.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 11, 1983

Postmaster Thomas J. DiTomasso, who took his oath of office Tuesday at the Jamestown post office, has been with the Postal Service for more than 17 years.

From the Newport Daily News, January 12, 1983

Robert Healy, president of Newport Hospital, spoke on the medical needs of the island to the Jamestown Red Cross board of directors Monday night. A recent Newport Hospital survey of medical needs in Jamestown produced a 28 percent return of questionnaires, which is considered high, Healy said. "Of those who responded, 79 percent expressed of the hospital's consideration of establishing a proposed family practice center on the island," he said.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 8, 1993

An oil spill at East Ferry Sunday was cleaned up in six hours and no traces of it were visible the following day. Most of the work was done by members of the community and the owner of the fishing boat responsible for the spill has said he will pay for the cleanup.

Driven by the spirit of adventure and the need to help others less fortunate, over 400 people gathered at Mackerel Cove last Friday to start off the new year with a splash (at the annual Penguin Plunge).

Twenty-one birders braved 20-degree weather on Dec. 27 to count a record number of species during the ninth annual Conanicut Island Bird Count. The total number of species for the day was 71. The next highest Christmas count total was 68 observed in 1989.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 8, 1998

The Town Council Tuesday began reviewing a proposed $4.9 million town government budget for fiscal 1998-99, up about $80,000 or 1.6 percent from last year's spending plan.

Sixty-five species of birds were observed in the 14th annual Conanicut Island Christmas Bird Count held Saturday, Dec. 27. Among the most notable and exciting were razorbills and a beautiful male eider at Beavertail. Four snow geese were spotted among the large flocks of Canada geese. Four species of hawks were seen, including a Peregrine falcon that has been seen so often recently on the Jamestown Bridge.

The Jamestown School Committee met last week for its first public hearing on the 1989-99 school budget, which is 9.13 percent higher than the current year's

(The Penguin Plunge raised over $25,000 for the Special Olympics in the 22nd annual event.)

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