2009-04-09 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of April 9
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, April 8, 1909

The town meeting for the election of town officers Wednesday was one of the quietest ever held on the island. There being no opposition to the Republican nominees, only 38 voters took the trouble to visit the polls.

Several large flocks of wild geese bound northward, passed over the island yesterday. One man counted eight flocks during the day, all of the, numbering 50 or more birds.

From the Newport Daily News, April 12, 1909

A force of men have arrived to equip Dr. W. L. Bates's sanitarium with steam heat in preparation for keeping the place open year round.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, April 7, 1934

An invitation ping pong tournament will be held at St. Matthew's parish house next Tuesday. … The tournament will be under the rules of the American Ping Pong Association. These require that the ball be hit back of the table in making the serves.

Jamestown's tax rate will remain at $20, according to the budget adopted Saturday afternoon at the annual financial town meeting. A budget totaling $95,925.26 was approved, and all other efforts to increase it by special appropriations were defeated with the exception of $750 out of $2,000 asked for public health nursing services. (Defeated were $300 for Jamestown Navy Day and $500 for the purchase of an athletic field. … By the close vote of 105 to 98, the meeting rejected a proposal to have biennial town elections, starting in 1935.)

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, April 7, 1959

(Robert M,) Clarke said that after checking with industrial leaders in Rhode Island, and with officials of the Raytheon Manufacturing Co, of Waltham, Mass., his committee was informed that Jamestown definitely is not being considered as a possible site for a Raytheon plant. Jamestown, Clarke said he was told, was the least logical of any site in the state.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, April 10, 1984

Concerned residents packed the Town Hall chambers Monday night and let the Town Council know they desire a limited access connector road between the island's two bridges.

The Town Council Monday night denied the renewal application for the ferry boat liquor license.

The Town Council Monday night awarded a Providence firm the contract to design the new solid waster transfer station.

From the Newport Daily News, April 12, 1984

Despite unusually bad weather, more people used the Newport Bridge last month than during March, 1983. (In March 1983, 309,382 vehicles crossed the Newport Bridge compared to 293,225 during the previous March.)

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, April 7, 1994

The five Russian ship's officers grimaced, then laughed as they watched quahogger Gerry Cavahlo swallow a freshly shucked raw clam right off the half shell. It was a quintessential Rhode Island moment, the kind of thing tourists come here hoping to find and would be sure to relate to their friends back home.

Two Jamestown teams took first lace Saturday in the Odyssey of the Mind state competition. … OM is designed to help students develop self confidence and learn to work together through problem-solving.

Due to painting on the Newport Bridge, traffic will be down to one lane on the access road from the bridge to Jamestown for the first few weeks of April.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, April 8, 1999

The youngest stars burn brightest in the new Jamestown Community Theatre production of Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," a fantastic adventure into the amazing world of Willy Wonka - genius inventor, chocolatier and philanthropist.

The Naval Station in Newport is looking for a Jamestown resident to sit on the Restoration Advisory Board, a community-based group initiated by the Navy to oversee its cleanup of sites contaminated by previous military activity. The northern end of Gould Island is among 12 now slated to be evaluated and "restored" by the Navy under the Environmental Protection Agency's superfund program.

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