2008-12-24 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of December 24
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, December 21, 1908

The pleasant weather has brought the Christmas shoppers out in large numbers.

From the Newport Daily News, December 23, 1908

The noon trips of the ferry to Newport will be omitted Friday to give the crew an opportunity to enjoy their Christmas dinners.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 22, 1933

The Community Christmas Tree and entertainment, sponsored Thursday evening by the Jamestown Fire Department, was one of the successful entertainments of the Christmas season. The beautiful tree was lighted and community singing of the old Christmas carols … by a gathering of 600 rang out on the night air. Following the carol singing, Santa Claus appeared and distributed to more than 300 children, candy, oranges, apples and gifts.

From the Newport Daily News, December 23, 1933

Christmas entertainments and festivities were held practically all day Friday. Exercises and Christmas parties were held at the Carr school … A splendid program was given at the Thomas H. Clarke school, and gifts will also be distributed…. The annual Christmas festival of St. Matthew's Sunday school was held Friday evening in the parish house. A program of carols and recitations were given.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 23, 1958

The Jamestown Town Council last night declared itself in favor of a marina in that town, as proposed by Governor-elect Christopher Del Sesto, while at the same time it announced its strong backing of the proposed $55 million Commerce Oil Refining Corp. refinery. … The Council passed a resolution thanking Commerce for food baskets the firm has been giving needy Jamestown families the past two years. … Regarding the Dutch elm disease, it was noted that the State's reimbursement program required that diseased elm trees be removed and destroyed before May 1 of the year after which the tree has been found to be diseased.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, December 20, 1983

The water department may be getting a facelift in the next few months, if the Town Council decides to combine its operation with that of the wastewater treatment plant. The Council will study the available options for the next few months, and make a decision by March 1.

From the Newport Daily News, December 21, 1983

(In photos and captions, the news of 1983 was summarized: Land Saved: 6.8 acres of surplus federal land on Beavertail Point is to be transferred free to the state; Landfill Filled: the landfill on North Road is overflowing and voters are to choose an alternative on Jan. 4; New Mini-mall: the former Jamestown Theatre on Narragansett Avenue was transformed into a new minimall; Council President: Jerry L. McIntyre was elected to a two-year term to the Town Council and later was voted Council president; Dedication: ceremonies Oct. 16 at Beavertail Light completed renovations to the building; Bridge Inspection: state Department of Transportation inspectors examine Jamestown Bridge during biennial inspection and voters approved a $45 million transportation bond issue in November setting plans in motion for a new bridge

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 23, 1993

After years of searching, island seniors may have an activities center to call their own in the Grange Hall on West Street by next June if all goes according to plan.

Dr. Joseph J. England has been selected as the 1993 volunteer of the year.

The cherished tradition of Jamestown's Christmas Pageant continues with the staging of the annual event tomorrow on Christmas Eve.

Sitting as the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners, the Town Council Monday voted unanimously to lift the ban on outdoor water use it instituted at the onset of the summer's water crisis.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, December 23, 1998

The Highway Barn Committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend the transfer station site to the Town Council as the preferred location for a new highway barn.

The School Committee unanimously approved the budget for the 1999-2000 school year, a spending package that reflects a 6.7 percent increase over last year. … The total projected expenditure for the upcoming year is $6,228,349, up from a 1998-99 budget of $5,837,721.

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