2010-02-04 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of February 4
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 Journal, Feb. 5, 1910

The ferry service between the island, Newport and Saunderstown was irregular Tuesday and Wednesday. The Conanicut broke one of her tillers at noon Tuesday and was taken from the line for repairs, and it was noon Wednesday before repairs were made, although work was continued throughout the night. One of Champion’s launches made a number of trips in her place Wednesday. On the west side, the Gypsy, which was running in place of the Narragansett on the Saunders line, was unable to run but a few of her trips and Schade’s launch was pulled into service to carry the New York mail

Military ball a great success at Ft. Greble. The social festivities at this post are not many because of the isolated position, but when the men arrange for an event, they do not do it in halves, but give a time which is long remembered.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Feb. 4, 1935

Construction of the Jamestown-Saunderstown Bridge would “obviously tend to encourage the people of Jamestown to depend on East Greenwich rather than Newport as a source of supplies and entertainment,” according to Herbert Claiborne Pell in a letter to the Chamber of Commerce urging a protest against the project.

From the Newport Daily News, Feb. 5, 1935

An open meeting of the representative citizens of the town was held at the town hall Monday evening, for the purpose of discussing various projects that might be prosecuted with the aid of PWA allotments. The meeting was called to order by the president of the council, G. Herbert Wright, John E. Hammond acting as clerk.

From the Newport Daily News, Feb. 7, 1935

The refrigerating plant at the Coleman Tefft restaurant on Ferry Wharf developed a leak Wednesday evening, causing ammonia and gas fumes to escape, and driving the occupants out of the store. The fire department responded to a telephone call, and found it necessary to use gas masks in order to enter the building and shut off power.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Feb. 5, 1960

The Jamestown Bridge Commission heard last night that traffic over the span the first three days in February totaled 2,715 vehicles, an increase of 174 over the same period last year. Gross revenues for the period were $820.95.

From the Newport Daily News, Feb. 6, 1960

The Gulf Oil Corp., which had agreed to furnish Commerce Oil Refining Corp. with foreign oil and to buy all its refined products from Commerce’s proposed $55,000,000 refinery in Jamestown, has been so affected by the government’s oil import quotas that it has taken drastic action… Gulf was the only major oil company that would give Commerce Oil assurances that it would furnish and buy all refined products. Based on its agreement, New York bankers proceeded with financing arrangements. Several hundreds of acres of Jamestown land were either purchased or optioned at the site for the proposed refinery. Court action, however, delayed the refinery’s construction.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Feb. 2, 1985

A Providence construction company was the apparent low bidder for deck repairs to the Jamestown Bridge when bids were opened Friday. With a bid of $142,128, Panbro Sales Corp. of Providence outbid five other firms for the project. The state Dept. of Transportation had estimated the project’s cost at $158,000.

15 years ago

Representatives of the Narragansett Indian tribe returned the remains of two of their ancestors to an ancient grave site near a town water line on Anthem Street last Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Last week, the Bank of Newport hosted an open house for members of the island business community to see the Grange Hall renovation underway for the new Senior Center on West Street.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, Feb. 3, 2000

The Town Council in a special session Monday approved a combined general government and school budget totaling $12.66 million for fiscal 2000-2001. Up 8.6 percent over last year’s spending plan, if approved by voters at the annual financial town meeting March 6, the new budget would raise the tax rate by 80 cents from the current $15.65 to $16.45 for each $1,000 of property valuation.

Over objections from concerned residents, the oneyear work plan for evaluating contaminants on the site of the former landfill has been unanimously approved by the Town Council.

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