2009-05-14 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of May 14
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, May 12, 1909

A special meeting of the town council was held yesterday afternoon to award the contracts for street lighting and for repairs to the town hall. (Two bids were received for street lighting. The contract was awarded to Robert Sherman, $52 per month during the summer and $25 per month for the winter. Thomas D. Wright won the contract for re-shingling the roof, $164 and G. Herbert Wright for varnishing the interior of the hall, $40.)

From the Newport Daily News, May 13, 1909

Mrs. Wilmerding of New York arrived today to make arrangements for opening the Grey Ledge Tea House on Beavertail for the season.

From the Newport Daily News, May 17, 1909

A lobster weighing 6 ¾ pounds was captured Saturday on the east shore of the island in a pot belonging to Mr. Arthur Clarke.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 18, 1934

The Holy Ghost Society of Jamestown is planning a tenth anniversary celebration at Holy Ghost hall Sunday afternoon, which will terminate a parade from the ferry landing. A band concert will be given by the Vasco de Gama Guards and by the recently formed Luzo American band of Newport.

The attention of the (town) council was called to damage being done to windows and walls in the town hall as a result of playing dart games. The matter was referred to the town sergeant. … Voted that Charles A. Westall be granted permission to sell fireworks from 12 o'clock noon, Monday, July 2, until midnight, Wednesday, July 4, subject however to the following conditions: that no blank cartridges, no explosive firecrackers over three inches in length or firecrackers containing dynamites are to be sold.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 11, 1959

Jamestown is expected to retain its current $16.20 per thousand tax rate for the next year as a result of the $411,405.41 budget approved at the annual town financial meeting in the Jamestown Recreation Center on Saturday.

From the Newport Daily News, May 12, 1959

Ferryboat Governor Carr, built 32 years ago for Jamestown Newport service, has been declared surplus by the state and within a week will be advertised for sale. … With the larger ferries put into service last summer, their total capacity of 116 cars, almost 20 cars greater than the combined capacity of the three older ferries. Therefore, there is no longer a need for three ferries and the Carr will not be replaced.

From the Newport Daily News, May 16, 1959

(At the Jamestown Bridge Commission meeting) Charles Hull, bridge manager, reported that the gross revenue for the first 14 days of May was $410.35 less than the same period in 1958. Vehicles crossing in this period, though, were 14 per cent more than in 1958.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 15, 1984

The Town Council voted Monday to accept a donation of two underground gas storage tanks. One will be used at the Town Offices to fill school buses, fire trucks and police cars. … The council voted 4-1 to accept the offer of Kenneth Sylvia and Frank DiMauro. The pair purchased the old gas station just north of the Bay View Hotel on Conanicus Avenue and are refurbishing it into offices.

From the Newport Daily News, May 17, 1984

(photo caption) Completion of retail-related condos facing Jamestown's East Ferry was celebrated with a comingout party Saturday. Renovations allow space for six retail stores and three residential units in the turn-of-the-century Hunt Block building. … Project was designed and built by Estes-Burgin Partnership.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, May 12, 1994

State Department of Transportation officials want to use controlled blasting to speed up work on the cross-island highway and complete the project by November.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, May 13, 1999

A crowd of about 150 spectators, a lot of them school kids, stood behind yellow "Caution" tape as crew members set up equipment for the next scene of the movie "Me, Myself, and Irene").

The state Department of Transportation has returned to its Southwest Avenue project, as anyone trying to get to and from Beavertail in the last two weeks is well aware.

Members of the Public Works Department planted 18 trees last Friday on Narragansett Avenue between the post office and West Ferry, and two more on Monday. … The project was a joint effort funded by Eastern Utilities and the town.

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