2011-03-24 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of March 24
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 24, 1911

Sunday evening between 50 and 60 assembled at St. Mark’s to form a Holy Name Society. The meeting was enthusiastic and officers were elected.

The telephone has been installed at Beavertail light and in case the keepers sight vessels needing assistance they will no longer lose valuable time in calling assistance, as has been the case in the past.

The petition for calling the town meeting to act on the matter of purchasing a portion of the Narragansett Transportation Company’s equipment by the town ferry line is being circulated for signers.

Seed potatoes for the farmers are arriving daily, most of them in small quantities from Newport.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, March 23, 1936

An urgent appeal to all residents of the town for a cash donation is being made by the Red Cross through the local chapter to help alleviate the sufferings of the many victims in the flooded areas. The chapter has placed boxes in the following stores: Matoes Midway Grocery, Westall’s Ice Cream, Lyons’ Market, Pitcher’s Drug Store, and Hayward’s news stand.

From the Newport Daily News, March 25, 1936

A budget totaling $93,304.62 has been recommended to the voters of Jamestown for consideration at the annual financial town meeting Saturday, April 4. New items appearing include an initial appropriation of $753.56 to go into a sinking fund towards the purchase of a new town hall. This is in variance with custom in other cities and towns, where the practice has been to build public buildings and then pay for them afterwards. Jamestown is desirous of having its cash built up in advance.

From the Newport Daily News, March 26, 1936

The Y.M.C.A. defeated Jamestown Wednesday night in the Rogers High School gymnasium by a 29-24 score to become the 1936 champions of the city in the final grade of the tournament sponsored by the Sunset basket all League. Several hundred Jamestown fans were on hand to cheer their team to victory, a special ferry being arranged to make this possible.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, March 21, 1961

The Jamestown Town Council last night declared it intends to hold to the present tax rate, if possible.

From the Newport Daily News, March 22, 1961

Motorists would be able to pay minor parking and traffic charges at the police station in Jamestown if a bill introduced in the House yesterday were to win approval. [Rep. James A.] Gallagher said that the present arrangement, in which prosecution of motorists are carried out in District Court in Newport, has proven a costly item to the town because of transportation. Gallagher said the arrangement would be subject to the approval of Jamestown taxpayers at the financial town meeting in May.

From the Newport Daily News, March 23, 1961

The Jamestown Board of Canvassers canvassed the voting list for the Democratic primary next Tuesday. [It was] announced that 1,445 persons will be eligible to vote.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, March 25, 1986

The Town Council Monday night approved a plan to put a two percent tax on real estate transactions in order to preserve open space. The Council’s version must be approved by the General Assembly and receive voter approval at a special fi- nancial town meeting.

From the Newport Daily News, March 26, 1986

Town Administrator Robert W. Sutton Jr. said today the Town Council will have to “look real hard” at the sewer tax rate because this year’s expenditures exceed expected revenues.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

March 21, 1996

State department of Health findings indicate that Jamestown’s municipal water is free of cancer-causing asbestos fibers. Battery Lane was selected for testing because it is the dead-end of a long stretch of asbestos-cement pipe. Some 41 water samples have been taken around the state so far.

Despite the island’s water-supply problems, islanders hooked into the municipal system are using more water than ever. According to the February pumping report reviewed by the Town Council Monday night, water use is up 30 percent over last year, from 5,505,000 gallons to 7,109,000 gallons per month.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

March 22, 2001

Democrats will be listed first on the May 2 town election ballot – the result of a lottery held Monday by the secretary of state’s office at the Jamestown library. Secretary of State Edward Inman III, with members of his staff, made a presentation to roughly 30 residents as part of his office’s Municipal Elections Project. The project, which is designed to increase voter education and awareness, is getting its trial run in Jamestown because the island holds the first town election of the year in Rhode Island.

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