2009-05-28 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of May 28
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 27, 1909

The What-So-Ever Circle of King's Daughters gave a strawberry festival in the town hall to raise money for charitable purposes. The tables were handsomely decorated and the attendance was large. The affair proved to be both a financial and social success.

Schooner Aetna, which was on fire and sunk yesterday, floated without assistance at high tide and swung around at her anchor, but no effort was made to move her as it was considered best to let her lie in shallow water. During the fire yesterday morning friends of the firemen sent to those at work on the schooner a bountiful supply of coffee and sandwiches and the firemen, who had been at work for several hours without breakfast, greatly appreciated the thoughtfulness.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 31, 1934

The Memorial Day parade started promptly on time, with the Jamestown Post American Legion, the Auxiliary Post drum and bugle corps and the drum and bugle corps from Newport, boys and girl scouts and a large number of school children forming the long line, which marched from Shoreby Hill to the Four Corners cemetery where a short service was held and then marched to the ferry where they were dismissed.

A special meeting of the school committee was held in the Thomas H. Clarke school for the purpose of opening the bids for supplying the schools with coal. Ernest Vieira was awarded the contract for 50 tons of white ash coal and the contract for 12 tons of buckwheat coal was awarded to the Jamestown Coal Company.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 28, 1959

The Jamestown School held its May Festival yesterday. Dorothy Manchester was May Queen and the attendants were Julia Burnum, Mary Gobeille, Grace Williams, Maxine Vandevender, Esther Bardmess and Donna Matoes.

From the Newport Daily News, June 1, 1959

J. Elliott Walsh, toll collector on the Jamestown Bridge, was named chief toll collector, a new position … John B. Foley, bridge manager, named Walsh to the post based on seniority. Walsh's salary is raised from $80 to $100 per week and his duties will be "as the commissioner and manager direct." The new position creates a vacancy in the five-man toll-collecting force.

About 500 spectators lined Narragansett Avenue Saturday morning to watch Jamestown's colorful Memorial Day parade, later heard Judge Arthur A. Carrellas of the Superior Court speak on the significance of Memorial Day. He and town officials reviewed the parade at Memorial Square where a wreath and basket of flowers were scattered in the water. The marchers then proceeded to Cedar Cemetery where the Rev. Merle L. Jones, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jamestown, gave the invocation.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 29, 1984

The annual Memorial Day parade stepped off Monday to the lively tunes of the Rogers High School Band to pay tribute to deceased veterans. A steady drizzle failed to dampen the spirits of the marchers led by retired Army Col. Peter Drury, the marshal, or the watchers.

From the Newport Daily News, May 30, 1984

The Town Council Monday night authorized the town administrator to borrow $670,000 to finance three capital development projects this year. Projects include renovations to Jamestown School, construction of a new waste transfer facility and purchase of a new fire engine.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, May 26, 1994

Whether town officials will approve the use of controlled blasting in the cross-island highway construction remained up in the air Monday after 90 minutes of discussion between state officials, explosive experts, and residents.

The town recently took delivery of the ARC 18 (a new craft for the harbormaster). At a cost of about $20,000, it came equipped with a 100 hp Johnson commercial outboard, trailer, GPS. VHF radio, depthfinder, towbit, and hailer, according to Harbormaster Sam Paterson.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, May 27, 1999

The issue of toll reduction on the Newport Bridge was discussed, but not voted on, at the May 19 meeting of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. … If commuters want to come to the RITBA headquarters building at the toll plaza, they can make a bulk purchase of 60 tokens for $50.

The bright red Jamestown-Newport Ferry, a summer fixture on lower Narragansett Bay since 1993, resumes weekend and holiday operations between the two island communities this Saturday.

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