2011-01-27 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of January 27
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 28, 1911

Monday evening the Beneficial Society gave a turkey supper in compliment to the men who had been active in fitting up the new membership hall at the Central Baptist Church. A good number came down to the repast with their wives and children. Some time was needed to dispose of the turkeys, vegetables, apple, raspberry and other kinds of pies. After this a social time followed, and the singing of old fashioned hymns, in a rousing volume of sound, to the organ accompaniment of Miss Beulah Knowles.

Four heavy I-beams, to be used in supporting the ceiling over the enlarged dining room of the Thorndike Hotel arrived Tuesday. The plastering is to be torn off and replaced with a metal ceiling.

A party of Boston capitalists was on the island Thursday to look into the matter of working the coal vein at Conanicut Park.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, January 29, 1936

[At the School Committee meeting], Mr. Clarke reported that arrangements have been made with the Holy Ghost society for the use of their hall for basket ball for the next six weeks, beginning next Wednesday. The boys will use the hall Wednesdays and the girls Thursdays from 3:30 until 6 o’clock.

From the Newport Daily News, January 30, 1936

The proposed $2,400,000 bridge from Jamestown to Saunderstown has been definitely disapproved by the Public Works Administration, according to the Associated Press dispatch from Washington. The rejection came unexpectedly today after officials of the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company had received word earlier in the month that the project probably would be approved.

From the Newport Daily News, January 31, 1936

A light wind and an ebb tide brought additional ice floes down the bay and into the harbor today but the greater part of the shifting masses moved out to sea.

The Roosevelt Birthday ball held Thursday evening in the Holy Ghost hall, for the benefit of the infantile paralysis fund at Warm Springs, Georgia was one of the finest affairs ever held in Jamestown. More than 150 couples were present and the gowns of the ladies added much to the attractiveness of the scene. Sixteen tables of bridge and whist were in play. Dancing was in order, with Bowen’s orchestra furnishing music.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, January 28, 1961

Workers for the Jamestown Mothers’ March of Dimes for Polio will canvas the town in a door-to-door campaign starting this weekend.

Joseph Perry was chosen king and Cheryl Hall queen at yesterday afternoon’s dance given by grades 8-S and 7-S at the Jamestown School. Mrs. Edgar Olsen and Frederick A. Caswell, teachers assisted, and pupils of grades 7-N and 8-N were guests.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, January 28, 1986

The Zoning Board of Review is scheduled to hear tonight a controversial petition from people who want to build a group home at Backstay Street and Stanchion Avenue.

The Town Council authorized the Conservation Commission Monday to pay for a mapping of the island’s wetlands by a group of University of Rhode Island students.

From the Newport Daily News, January 30, 1986

The Town Council lopped $32,000 off the proposed town budget Wednesday night during a workshop session.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

January 25, 1996

Town and state officials were set yesterday to discuss the receipt of a $864,000 federal grant that would fund the construction of two controversial waterfront projects at East Ferry.

It sounds too good to true – it looks like island taxpayers will see a decrease in their tax bills. The Town Council voted Monday to approve a total budget – town and school spending plans combined – of $10.3 million. That figure is up almost 7.3 percent over this year’s $9.6 million budget, and it will go up again once contract negotiations with three labor unions representing town employees are finished and salaries are figured into the spending package.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

January 25, 2001

The council next Monday, Jan. 29, is set to vote on a $7.7 million school operating budget, a $5.7 million town spending plan, and possibly a Harbor Management Commission budget of about $266,000.

The area was hit with the most significant snowstorm of the season last weekend – one that dumped between four and five inches in the island, with drifting due to north and easterly winds accumulating several more inches in certain spots.

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