2011-03-03 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of March 3
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, March 4, 1911

The fact that a fire smoldered all night in the Hotel Thorndike and was discovered and extinguished in the morning leaked out Saturday. About a week ago men at work on the improvements to the building had a fire in the fireplace in the south end of the large dining hall. They left it apparently all right, but in some manner it communicated to the heavy timbers under the floor. Two of these, 4 by 10 inches square, were nearly burned in two and a considerable place on the under side of the boarding charred. The fire was discovered the following morning, when the electricians returned to work and found smoke coming from the cellar. It was then smoldering and causing much smoke, but no blaze, and was easily put out.

The tide at noon Tuesday was one of the lowest of the winter and shores seldom seen were bare of water for some little time.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, March 3, 1936

William Ainsmith, 59, an employee at Dr. Bates’ sani- tarium in Jamestown, walked almost the entire distance to the State Hospital in Providence on Sunday. His endurance was almost gone when he was noticed by a State Trooper and taken the remaining distance. Ainsmith crossed on the 2 o’clock ferry from Jamestown to Newport, had a cup of coffee, and then started on his 25-mile jaunt, going over the Mount Hope Bridge.

From the Newport Daily News, March 4, 1936

A formal request that the proposed Jamestown-Saunderstown bridge application be re-opened and considered has been made by the Jamestown Town Council in a letter to Secretary Harold L. Ickes, Public Works Administrator, in Washington.

From the Newport Daily News, March 5, 1936

The State Sinking Fund Commission today voted to purchase $15,000 (sic) of four per cent Town of Jamestown ferry bonds, to be presently issued by the town, with the lien being a mortgage on the property of the corporation.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, February 28, 1961

The Rhode Island Bay Bridge Citizens Committee is urging city and state officials to exert efforts to have a second ferry put on the Jamestown ferry run on Friday to handle heavy traffic expected with the graduation of more than 600 students from the Officer Candidate School.

The Jamestown fire department’s new telephone numbers will go into effect at noon tomorrow. For reporting fires and emergencies call 211. For business calls to headquarters call 62.

The Sport Club of Rhode Island asked the Council for the use of Fort Getty on April 30.

From the Newport Daily News, March 2, 1961

The Jamestown Philomenian Library has added 741 books in the past year.

From the Newport Daily News, March 3, 1961

The Jamestown Planning Board requested $1,200 from the town when it presented its 1961-62 budget to the Town Council and voters in Town Hall last night. The state will match the amount with an additional $2,000 giving a total of $3,200, to be used for proposed studies of municipal functions and facilities, town hall, library, etc., school facilities, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Development Council.

From the Newport Daily News, March 6, 1961

The first-half champion T-birds dropped their third straight game in the Jamestown Senior Basketball League’s second half over the weekend at as the Sevilles and Untouchables opened a one-game gap on the rest of the field with only this Friday’s contest left on the schedule.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

March 4, 1986

A town budget of $4.76 million received voter approval in record time Monday night. The entire town financial meeting lasted 51 minutes. The sparse turnout and the short meeting were due mostly to a relatively mild tax increase. Restricted by a 5.5 percent statemandated cap on tax levy increases, the Council proposed a budget 5.1 percent more than the 1985-86 budget. The 25-cent tax raise represented a 1.8 percent increase in the property levy.

Resident stickers for use of the garbage transfer station and parking at the town beach are available. Cost was $5.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

February 29, 1996

The Town Council Monday voted to create a committee that should determine the best use of the town-owned golf course and report its findings in nine months.

Jamestown voters will go to the polls next Tuesday, March 5, for the Presidential Preference primary.

Martin S. Hellewell, chairman of the Zoning Board of Review for the past 15 years, has resigned from his post.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

March 1, 2001

Town Officials will present a $13.1 million combined school and general budget for fiscal 2001- 2001, at the annual financial town meeting.

The Town Council Monday voted to prohibit parking on portions of Beach Avenue in the Jamestown Shores and Lincoln Street near East Ferry

Jamestown will be the model for a new program coming out of the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office that seeks to increase awareness and raise the excitement level of municipal elections. Because the island holds the first election of the year in the state of Rhode Island, it will be Jamestown on which the newly elected secretary will focus in the next two months.

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