2008-02-07 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of February 7
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, February 4, 1908

With the thermometer only 2 degrees above zero this morning, a good ice crop seems assured. One or two more days of continued cold will allow the ice men time to fill their houses. Clarke cut 7-inch ice on his south pond yesterday, and today Peckham, Clarke and Littlefield are marking out on the north reservoirs.

The moving of the cottage from Knowles court to Walcott avenue, which was interfered with by the recent blizzard, was resumed today.

From the Newport Daily News, February 5, 1908

The first drift ice of the winter is passing down the west bay today in considerable quantities, while in the east bay traces of it are to be seen. As yet, however, the ice is not heavy enough to interfere with the ferries.

In moving the large barn to the Pierce place near the west ferry, it was necessary to cut many of the branches from the handsome row of trees in front of the Watson and Bevins estates on Narragansett avenue.

From the Newport Daily News, February 6, 1908

The local ice men were only able to get about half enough ice yesterday to supply the summer demand, and unless another freeze comes the price of ice next summer will probably be high.

The roller skate craze has arrived and a movement is on foot to organize a club here.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, February 1, 1933

A large number of pupils of both schools have been absent for the past week, owing to severe colds.

From the Newport Daily News, February 2, 1933

The new stone wall surrounding the cemetery at the Four Corners and extending across the front of the town library, re- placing the old fence, is nearly completed, and is a creditable piece of work adding greatly to the appearance of this section of town. The gates, which are to be on the west side of the cemetery, making an entrance from the North Main road, will be placed there by the Jamestown Post, American Legion, as a memorial to departed comrades, and will add to the piece of work. The town library has just been newly painted, and its new setting is attractive in its quaintness.

From the Newport Daily News, February 9, 1933

The cement walk on the west side of Narragansett avenue engine house is fast nearing completion.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, February 4, 1958

The state Supreme Court yesterday set Feb. 12 as the date of a hearing on recent action taken by refinery opponents to halt abandonment of part of Eldred Avenue, Jamestown, to the Commerce Oil Refinery Corp. The court will decide the right of the refinery opponents to any hearing and the merits of their opposition to the road abandonment. … The Town Council last Dec. 9, after a public hearing, ordered the road closed.

From the Newport Daily News, February 6, 1958

The first of the two additions to the Jamestown Ferry fleet, the 194-foot Richmond, steamed into her new home port early this afternoon after a 400-mile ocean voyage from Norfolk, Va. … Ten of the Jamestown Ferry's crewmen had gone to Norfolk to bring the new acquisition back. … The Jamestown ferry crew will go back to Norfolk and prepare to bring up the sister ship of the Richmond, the Norfolk. The two oil-fired craft were purchased by Rhode Island in December for $50,000 each from the Virginia highway department.

The 1958 quota for the Jamestown Red Cross Chapter drive has been received … as $1,297.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, February 2, 1983

The Town Council met with Robert Bendick, director of the Department of Environmental Management, to discuss the joint acquisition of the surplus Navy land at Fort Wetherill.

From the Newport Daily News, February 8, 1983

The Town Council and School Committee discussed the school budget Monday night. The budget request of $1,960,670 represents a 12.7 percent increase over last year. Much of the increase is caused by a tuition increase at North Kingstown High School and salary increases for teachers and other personnel. North Kingstown raised the tuition to $126,226. Teacher salaries are up $87,756.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, February 4, 1993

The Town Council Monday approved a $3.25 million government budget for 1993-94 that will add 88 cents to the tax rate and has yet to include salary increases for town employees.

At least a score of town water users will soon have their water tested for lead contamination. Homeowners will not be charged for the tests.

Ruptured batteries found on the ocean floor after the recent demolition of the Brenton Reef tower off Beavertail were probably used to operate that aid to navigation, according to a Coast Guard official.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, February 5, 1998

Everybody at Monday's informational workshop on establishing a land bank, funded by a real estate transfer tax, to purchase and preserve open space agreed on one thing: Open space, farmland, natural habitat; and water sheds should be protected from development. What people disagreed about was how to raise the money needed to buy the land.

Coming on the heels of the recent elimination of tolls on the Mt. Hope Bridge, local legislators are proposing toll relief for commuters on the Newport Bridge as well. Jamestown's state Sen. Teresa Paiva Weed and Rep. Paul Crowley want to ease the cost of commuting to and from Aquidneck Island by reducing the price of a roll of commuter tokens from $10 to $8. To offset the commuter toll reduction, the legislators are proposing to increase the cost of a one-time passage of the bridge from $2 to $3 for a car, with proportionate increases for larger vehicles with multiple axles.

Return to top