2009-07-09 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of July 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, July 6, 1909

At an early hour this morning, when the volunteer firemen were sleeping soundly, an alarm was rung for a fire in the small stable on the Stadler property, in Cole street. The building was occupied by Charles Pike, who conducts an express business, his horse and wagon, however, being in Newport for the night. It was discovered by Pike shortly before 2 a.m. and was confined to the interior of the building and was of small proportions. … After 40 minutes of work the last spark was out and the apparatus had gone.

Mr. and Mrs. Percival Gibson entertained a large gathering at a clambake Monday afternoon and evening, at their home at the south pumping station. Mr. Elijah Anthony prepared the bake with the result that everything which goes to make a bake successful was attained. The afternoon was spent in a general good time and in the evening, after tea, a display of fireworks was given.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, July 5, 1934

The Jamestown branch of Camp Conanicus will open its second season Tuesday, July 10, and will be located on the west shore, near the west ferry. The boys and girls are members of the summer colony. They will meet at the camp three days each week, and the activities will include swimming, sailing, woodcraft, and various other handcrafts. Messrs. John J. Hellewell and Wilfred E. E. Seymour of Saunderstown are the directors.

Jamestown had had one of the quietest Fourths in many years. During the early hours of the morning the beaches were crowded with bathers. Many left on the early boats for Newport to attend the circus. Both the Conanicut and Beavertail Golf and Country clubs were well patronized all day. The Yacht race followed by the tea, held at the Conanicut Yacht club in the afternoon drew a large number and at the night the dance at the Casino had a capacity crowd.

Helen Perdue has returned from Florida and has opened her hat and gown shop on Conanicus avenue where a beautiful line of exclusive evening and afternoon gowns can be seen; also especially smart sports wear, which include the new string knit dresses. Also on display is a large variety of hats, both large and small, in all the new straws and shades.

From the Newport Daily News, July 9, 1934

The Mackerel Cove beach, from the many colored and attractive beach parasols in the sand, and the big crowd there during the morning hours, indicate the popularity of the beach.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, July 8, 1959

(At a school committee meeting) the board was advised that beginning July 18, the school department will be able to borrow trucks, bulldozers and heavy equipment through the war surplus program to clear the west side of the school land. … The board authorized a letter to the Town Council asking again for their attention to the matter of workmen’s compensation for school department employees.

Fred C. Caswell, in charge of the swimming classes sponsored by the local chapter of the Red Cross in progress at Mackerel Cove in Jamestown, reported that 127 children have registered to date.

A total of 38,385 hot lunches were served this year in the Jamestown Elementary School.

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

Two representatives of the Jamestown Bridge Design Committee appeared before the Town Council Monday night to explain what the committee expects at a July 18 public hearing on the proposed limited-access connector road. … The Council unanimously approved a 5 percent cap on spending on the 1984-85 budget.

From the Newport Daily News, July 11, 1984

A resume of the founding and growth of the Conanicut Island Art Association was compiled recently by past presidents in celebration of the association’s 10th anniversary.

From the Newport Daily News, July 12, 1984

Save the Bay’s top fundraising event, Swim the Bay, has filled its field of 100 swimmers for the eighth consecutive crossing of Narragansett Bay on July 28.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, July 8, 1994

A parade Saturday will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Jamestown Fire Department’s steam pumper, Tashtassuck No. 1. … The parade is expected to include over 32 fire trucks, classics from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, contemporary vehicles, and some historical trucks similar to Jamestown’s own LaFrance steam pumper.

Huge sails will be hoisted for Windmill Day festival. Windmill Day, sponsored by the Jamestown Historical Society, will be this Saturday at the old mill on North Main Road.

The Town Council next Monday will consider restricting outdoor residential water use to odd and even days.

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

The Quonset Point Davisville Liaison Committee brought the recently elected Town Council up to speed on port development activity at a work session held Tuesday.

While the Southwest Avenue road project may seem endless to local motorists, progress is being made, especially on some of last year’s sticky archeological issues responsible for holding work up. A “phase 1” archeological survey was completed on Tuesday on the last stretch of roadway needing clearance before the final pieces of a new drainage system can be laid next to Art’s Auto Body Shop.

(photo caption) Monday night’s fireworks towered over the heads of the thousands of islanders and visitors who camped out for hours to secure a prime spot.

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