2010-09-09 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of September 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 Journal, Sept. 10, 1910

The Hotel Thorndike, after the best season for a number of years, closed Monday night for the summer.

Bluefish have again struck in at Beavertail. Sunday, one was taken by Mr. A. Van Pelt, which according to the lightkeeper, was the first to be caught from the rocks at the point for six years. Monday, another was taken by Keeper Wales. Several weakfish have been caught at the point with rod and reel, Mr. Frederic Anthony securing two seven-pounders.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 9, 1935

(At the meeting of the executive committee meeting of the Jamestown Chapter, American Red Cross)…it was stated that the Jamestown Fire Department would be the first “First Aid station” set up in Rhode Island. The members of the department have had two courses in First Aid from the National Red Cross and the Chapter presented them with a First Aid kit.

Mrs. George Edward Hull, a resident of Jamestown for 70 years, celebrated her ninetieth birthday Sunday in the home where she went as a bride on the North Main Road and where her children were born. …She has also seen more changes in the town than anyone now living here.

The Beavertail Golf and Country Club closed for the season today; also, the Gardner Inn, the Bayview hotel, Bay Voyage and Western Union Telegraph office.

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 10, 1935

Raising its objective from $3,000 to $5,000, the Jamestown Board of Trade, at an organization meeting Monday evening, made further plans for the campaign to advertise Jamestown during the coming year

Children in the FERA families are being provided with clothing for the school term. Recently, the local factory, originated to manufacture mattresses and with a department for the making of wearing apparel, has centered its activities on the latter production. Between 250 and 300 garments a month are now being made and issued through FERA headquarters.

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 12, 1935

(The Thomas H. Clarke and the Carr schools had a registration of 178 students.) Enrollment in high schools — Rogers, 93; Post-graduate, 4; De La Salle, 4; total, 101.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 13, 1960

(Following Hurricane Donna) the oil from the Sept. 1 grounding of the tanker P.W. Thirtle was adding to Jamestown’s woes. Lawns on Shoreby Hill facing the water were covered with a three-inch slime of oil for a length of 50 feet inland. The same condition prevailed along much of the east shore. The roadway at Mackerel Cove …is covered with sand, rocks and debris, making the road impassable out to Fort Getty. …A huge maple tree opposite the Jamestown Bowling Lanes (where McQuade’s is now) fell, carrying utility lines down with it. The Newport Electric Corp. repair teams were busy at this point, at the north end and at the west ferry.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 9, 1985

Construction of the new $64 million Jamestown Bridge was to begin today, following groundbreaking ceremonies. …The new four-lane span is expected to be finished by late 1988. It will be 1.4 miles long and 135 feet high. The bridge will be 72 feet wide, more than three times wider than the current 22-foot-wide, two-lane span. From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 10, 1985

More than 150 people braved stormy weather to hear “three governors for the price of one” during groundbreaking ceremonies Monday for the new $63 million Jamestown Bridge. From the Newport Daily News, September 11, 1985

About 150 gallons of oil spilled from a tanker in Narragansett Bay Monday night and washed up on the beach and boats in the Green’s Pier area Tuesday. …The tanker Danica was unloading oil to a barge, the Sea Horse I, near the Newport Bridge when the oil spilled.

Swimmers in the ninth annual Swim the Bay collected a record number of pledges for the Aug. 11 crossing of Narragansett Bay. ($10,000 was raised.)

15 years ago From the Jamestown Press, Sept. 8, 1995

With about 54 days of water left in North Pond reservoir, Town Administrator Frances Shocket intends to ask the Town Council next week if it wants to begin buying off-island water. Shocket said late Wednesday afternoon that she intended to phone North Kingstown officials before the end of next week to start discussing the possibility of purchasing water and transporting it onto the island through the emergency pipeline the National Guard built at the end of 1993’s water crisis.

Several major changes may be made in the town’s zoning ordinance following a public hearing scheduled to be held later this month. State law requires the town to amend its zoning ordinance so that it conforms with the town’s state-mandated comprehensive plan within 18 months of that plan’s approval.

10 years ago From the Jamestown Press, Sept. 7, 2000

The Conanicut Island Land Trust recently acquired 9.28 acres of land extending from Carr Lane to the North Pond reservoir. …The acquisition followed two years of discussions and negotiations with the property owners, Stanley Ryng and Janice Dutton, who are supportive of the conservation goals of the land trust and anxious to see the headwaters of the town’s reservoir protected.

Once again, the island’s Clean Team cleaned up at the state awards ceremony, taking the top honors for the second consecutive year.

A tour of the newly landscaped Conanicut Battery drew nearly 50 participants, who braved extreme humidity and ever-present mosquitoes Sunday to see the accomplishments volunteers have made in recent months. Noticeable immediately was the new gravel parking area, which on the day of the tour easily accommodated 16 cars. A gate at the southwest corner of the lot gives walkers a choice of two walking paths, one to the Revolutionary era battery itself, and the other to the World War I-era communications system, operated from six in-ground bunkers in the area known as Prospect Hill.

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