2011-01-06 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of January 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 Journal, January 7, 1911

The annual turkey supper for the members of the Parish Aid Society was given in the town hall Tuesday evening with a good attendance. After the supper progressive whist occupied the evening.

Mr. Bennett Ockin of Boston, accompanied by a mining expert, is on the island to examine the coal land at the north end of the island. Ockin Brothers of Boston has obtained an option on the land at Conanicut Park property from Curran and Mauran of Providence, who purchased it at auction about a year ago. They have also entered into negotiations for other land, comprising a large tract, and will prospect for coal. Many boring have been made.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, January 2, 1936

There was a large attendance at the New Year’s eve dance held under the auspices of Conanicut grange hall. The decorations were green and silver. Noise makers and balloons ushered in the New Year. At midnight a grand march was held with Miss Ida E. Clark and Frank Taylor leading, after which gen eral dancing was resumed, with Bowen’s orchestra furnishing music.

From the Newport Daily News, January 3, 1936

The second round in the pool tournament was played at the engine house Thursday. At the conclusion of the games, Chief Marley served frankfurters, rolls and coffee.

From the Newport Daily News, January 4, 1936

One hundred new books for the Jamestown school library have been received, and more will be received later. This was made possible by the fund of $200 appropriated by the town.

Over 52,000 egg masses, representing 13,000,000 potential caterpillars were collected by Jamestown school children in the recent contest of the Jamestown Garden Club to beautify the town by helping to rid it of tent caterpillars.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, January 3, 1961

The Jamestown Lions Club held its annual charity dance on New Year’s Eve at Holy Ghost Hall on Narragansett Avenue, with about 150 people attending. Herb Arnold’s Hay Shakers provided the music.

From the Newport Daily News, January 5, 1961

Arnold-Zweir Post, American Legion Of Jamestown, met in the Recreation Center last night with Commander Edward Morinho presiding. Plans were made for an auction in the spring. Members of the post have repaired the shelter for school children at the bus stop at the corner of Bryer and Conanicus Avenues. … The Christmas party committee reported that 200 children attended.

From the Newport Daily News, January 7, 1961

The commuter rate for 12-ticket books for the Jamestown Bridge was reduced from $2 to $1.80 by the Bridge Commission last night.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, January 2, 1986

(photo caption) Jamestown Penguins flop about in icy waters at Mackerel Cove to celebrate New Year’s Day. More than 300 took to Mackerel Cove’s waters for Jamestown Penguins 10th annual plunge to raise money for R.I. Special Olympics.

From the Newport Daily News, January 8, 1986

One lane of Eldred Avenue was blocked for 1 hour this morning about 8:30 after a load of lumber slid off a trailer truck into the road. Police said a load of lumber caked with ice slid through restraining straps as the truck braked to a stop at the North Road traffic light. Most of the lumber landed on the traffi c island at the intersection; some fell under the truck’s tires.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

January 5, 1996

A municipal well drilled near the town’s unusable South Pond reservoir over the holidays has come up virtually dry. “It’s minimal, minimal, definitely less than five gallons a minute,” Public Works Steven Goslee said of the well’s water output, adding that the flow rate was so low that he had not actually tested it.

At 42 degrees. The water at Mackerel Cove was a bit chilly. But that did not slow down some 400 to 500 revelers who celebrated the arrival of 1996 New Year’s Day by participating in the 20th annual Penguin Plunge.

Sixty bird species were spotted n the 11th annual Conanicut Island Christmas Bird Count held Dec. 30. Most notable were: 2 northern shrikes, 1 broadwing hawk, 1 American woodcock, 1 white-crowned sparrow, 2 hermit thrushes, 1 redbreasted nuthatch, 4 red-bellied woodpeckers, 1 red-throated loon, 1 red-necked grebe, and 2 harlequin ducks.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

January 2, 2001

Now that work to replace a portion of decking on the Newport Bridge has wrapped up as of last week, what’s next on the agenda for the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority? The authority has just ordered three new de-icing trucks and is installing chemical tanks in North Kingstown and Newport to handle all the ice and snow removed on both the Jamestown and Newport bridges, Bianchi said, noting that the trucks are going to cost $330,000.

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