2009-01-15 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of January 15
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 11, 1909

Work on two new non-commissioned officers' quarters at Fort Greble commenced this morning.

Codfish are running more plentiful in the West bay, but not in sufficient numbers to make trawl fishing profitable at the present price of about 8 cents per pound.

From the Newport Daily News, January 12, 1909

Town Clerk Severance has made the annual returns to the state showing 16 births, 3 marriages and 14 deaths on the island during the past year.

From the Newport Daily News, January 16, 1909

The last in a series of whists and dances to be given by the Jamestown Band took place Friday evening in the Gardner House hall. … After the whist the floor was cleared for dancing.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 8, 1934

(At the school committee meeting it was voted, that Superintendent Bradley write Newport in regard to the increased rate in high school tuition which went into effect January 1. This rate has been raised from $125 to $135 per pupil per year, and will mean an increase of over $1,000 in the cost of high school tuition next year… Mr. Clarke reported the findings of the possibility of having a local high school. Tentative architect's sketches were shown, making use of the present Clarke school, and adding an auditorium-gymnasium and from six to eight high school rooms. Costs would be reasonable and many advantages would accrue.

From the Newport Daily News, January 13, 1934

The visit of the fleet to Narragansett Bay during the coming summer, in connection with the yacht races, should make Jamestown one of the busiest summer resorts on the Atlantic coast, and plans to receive the influx of visitors during the time were discussed (at the Board of Trade meeting).

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 10, 1959

Business on the Jamestown Bridge set new records in 1958 for the fourth consecutive year, according to the annual report submitted at last night's meeting of the Jamestown Bridge Commission. (An average 1,300 cars a day used the bridge and total traffic for the fiscal year ending Nov. 30 amounted to 494,291 vehicles. Gross revenue from tolls was $498,291.)

From the Newport Daily News, January 14, 1959

The Jamestown School Committee last night planned to study the feasibility of bringing school department employees under the Workmen's Compensation Act.

From the Newport Daily News, January 16, 1959

Commerce Oil Refining Corp. announced today its intention to appeal the decision of U. S. District Court Judge Edward W. Day permanently enjoining the operation of its proposed $55,000,000 refinery in Jamestown.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, January 13, 1984

The Town Council has set a new financial town meeting for the landfill problem, and wants a closer look taken at the proposal for a full transfer station on Conanicut Island.

From the Newport Daily News, January 17, 1984

Revaluation notices will be sent out to property owners during the first week of February. (The revaluation was conducted by Better Value Data Inc. of East Greenwich.) … The 1984 tax rate will be based on a 100 percent assessment of property values.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 13, 1994

Three major storms within 10 days have put the town's snowremoval expenses way over budget. …the recent snow cost the town $15,000. The town was already over budget, having spent $8,047 since the beginning of the fiscal year last March to December. … The town traditionally allocates $2,500 a year for dealing with snow removal.

(During the Town Council meeting of Dec. 20 the council directed the Friends of the Jamestown Seniors to enter into a lease agreement with the Conanicut Grange that would allow the Grange Hall on West Street to be used as a senior activities center.)

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, January 14, 1999

Plans to restore the Revolutionary War-era fortification near Battery Lane moved forward Monday when the Town Council approved a treatment plan produced by Landscapes, a Vermont consulting firm that specializes in landscape architecture and historical preservation.

In spite of the extremely cold weather (2.5 degrees at the start), a record number of birders participated in the 15th Annual Conanicut Island Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Jan. 2. The species count was above average, as well. A total of 64 species was sighted during the day, the fifth highest seen on a Christmas Count. … A total of 454 robins were observed.

The price of gasoline in Jamestown has dropped below $1 per gallon.

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