2009-10-22 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of October 22
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, Oct. 19, 1909

The work of placing under cover the machinery and building material at Ft. Wetherill, to protect it from the winter weather, has commenced. This would indicate that no extensive work on that fortification was to be done this fall.

There was a change in the mail arrangements by the Narragansett Transportation Company today. Instead of sending the Nada to Wickford, as heretofore, the company received permission from the Postoffice Department to send the mails across Jamestown to Saunderstown and then to Wickford Junction. … The change of plan to carry mail across Jamestown may give that town what has been asked for, an earlier or a later mail, or both as the contractor will be passing the Jamestown postoffice a number of times each day and can carry the mail later as well as not.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 25, 1934

(At the school committee meting) regulations for the use of the Thomas H. Clarke hall were discussed. … As a special concession to the high school boys, who are planning a dance for Halloween, a later closing hour was granted for one evening.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 21, 1959

A business meeting of the World War I Veterans, Barracks 1557 was held at Memorial Hall, Jamestown, Commander Thomas McConnell presided.

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 24, 1959

The Jamestown Bridge Commission last night approved a budget of $133,258 for the fiscal year ending Nov. 10, 1960. … The report of the manager, John B. Foley, showed that the gross revenue for the first 22 days of this month is $315.38 less than that of the same period last year. The vehicle count for the same period was up 18 per cent or 5,498 more vehicle crossings.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 19, 1984

Recently released IOWA test scores for 1983-84 indicate Jamestown school children are among the state’s best. Tested in five areas, Jamestown School pupils in Grades 3-8 all attained scores higher than the national average.

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 23, 1984

State officials and project consultants will try tonight (in Jamestown) to allay resident fears of air pollution from a proposed trash-to-energy incinerator at nearby Quonset Point.

The third annual underwater pumpkin carving contest will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Ft. Wetherill State Park. The contest is sponsored by Ocean State Scuba in Jamestown.

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, Oct. 20, 1994

The water level at North Pond reservoir remains low and a ban on outside water use is still in effect

Jamestown Marine Services, a firm specializing in salvage, diving and oil spill response, wants to establish a commercial diving school at Ft. Wetherill, and state and town officials like the idea. Bruce Banks, head of Jamestown Marine Services, told the Town Council last week that he plans to spend $400,000 renovating two buildings on state-owned land at Ft. Wetherill. He would then use the buildings to house classrooms.

The Jamestown Housing Authority has received a HUD grant of $570,000 for improvements at Pemberton Apartments.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, Oct. 21, 1999

For three hours last Thursday evening the director of the state Department of Transportation … took one negative comment after another on his idea to preserve the old Jamestown Bridge as a bicycle and pedestrian path.

Three months after (its) first meeting with a small but concerned group over improvements to downtown Narragansett Avenue, streetscape designer Randy Collins of Gates, Leighton & Associates returned to Jamestown Tuesday evening with a preliminary design. With less than 30 residents attending, turnout was meager. But small only in numbers, the group enthusiastically embraced the authority vested in them by the designer and the planning office for deciding the new look for downtown Jamestown as it heads into the next millennium. … Collins said, however, that the loudest message he got from islanders at the initial meeting was a desire to bury the overhead utilities. To this end, he has given the utility companies streetscape maps of the area and asked them to give him a cost estimate for laying the utility conduits at the same time as the improvement project rolls on.

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