2009-08-06 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of August 6
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, August 2, 1909

Sunday afternoon Rev. H. N. Jeter had about 80 members of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Newport came across on the 3:30 ferry trip to attend a service in the town hall, in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Shiloh Baptist Central Mission in this town by Rev. Dr. Jeter.

From the Newport Daily News, August 7, 1909

Town Clerk Severance has received from the Boston Post a handsome cane to be presented to the oldest citizen of the town, the only provision attached to the gift being, that upon the death of the holder, the cane goes to the next oldest citizen living.

From the Newport Daily News, August 9, 1909

The ferries Saturday and Sunday did a large business. Besides the regular travel, the polo at Narragansett Pier and the New York Yacht Club fleet in Newport harbor have attracted a large number.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, August 6, 1934

A large number of guests were in town over the weekend, many coming for the purpose of visiting the battleships and the ferries were crowded all day Saturday.

Owing to the large attendance, it was necessary to hold three masses at St. Mark’s Church Sunday.

Owing to the heavy traffic over the ferries Sunday, it was necessary to put on two boats and give half hour service.

From the Newport Daily News, August 7, 1934

The annual admirals’ tea, which is becoming an institution, was held this afternoon by Rear Admiral and Mrs. Spencer Wood at their Jamestown residence, with a gathering of more than 40 in attendance, the majority being prominent active and retired naval officers of high rank. It was the sixth consecutive year that Admiral and Mrs. Wood have held this event.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, August 6, 1959

Toll reductions ordered April 1 and June 23 of this year on the … Jamestown Bridge are estimated to have reduced revenues by a total of $9,000 annually. The average bridge toll has dropped from 65 cents a passage in 1951 to 46 cents this year. This remains, however, more than double the 22 cents on the Mount Hope Bridge.

From the Newport Daily News, August 11, 1959

The Jamestown (Town) Council last night voted against a proposal by the U.S. Army Engineers to enlarge the torpedo testing range around Gould Island, principally by extending it 500 feet to the south.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, August 3, 1984

The School Committee, assured that the roof construction project is on schedule, authorized payment Thursday of $130,000 to the contractor for work completed to date.

From the Newport Daily News, August 9, 1984

The Jamestown Design Study Committee Wednesday asked Wilbur Smith and Associates, designers of the proposed cross-island connector road, to submit a letter of design features to be considered for the road sometime within the next two weeks.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, August 4, 1994

The Jamestown Seniors Association recently presented a $10,000 check to Friends of the Jamestown Seniors to assist in renovating the Grange Hall on West Street for use as a senior center.

Sixteen islanders last Saturday participated in Save the Bay’s largest “Swim the Bay” in 18 years. … These Jamestown participants joined over 400 people, including swimmers, rowers, spotters, and Save the Bay staffers, who were also involved in the 1.7 mile swim that started in Newport.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, August 5, 1999

Fourteen Jamestown residents, along with nearly 270 other swimmers risked fatigue, sore muscles and jelly fish stings last Saturday to swim nearly two miles across the East Passage of Narragansett Bay in support of Save the Bay’s effort to keep the bay a clean and healthy place for swimming and other recreational activities.

Jamestown business owners and residents refused to put on rose-colored glasses last Thursday when presented with a series of Munchkin-style sketches of Narragansett Avenue during a workshop with the Planning Commission and the Town Council. The sketches were prepared by design consultants … hired last month to develop a plan for sprucing up Narragansett Avenue from East Ferry to the Fire Station. … The message from the 50 islanders attending was keep it simple, nothing “cute,” and don’t waste limited funds on improvements that will have to be dug up later when and if utility lines go underground.

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