2011-04-07 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of April 7
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, April 7, 1911

The voters of Jamestown in the special town meeting Friday voted, 78-57, a loan of $50,000 to the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company. The purpose of the $50,000 loan is for the purchase of certain property and rights of the Narragansett Transportation Company. The voters, 91-22, authorized the town council to accept and declare Grinnell Street a public highway.

A somewhat peculiar complication was threatened, but the moderator straightened it out satisfactorily. One of the voters announced that he had deposited three “yes” ballots in the box, all being on the ferry issues, while he intended to vote on the three propositions. Some of the opponents of the ferry proposition said after the adjournment that they had been whipped and that was all there was to it; others are not taking it gracefully. In one shop credit is refused to ferry advocates while others have the usual recognition on the books.

The deed transferring the Conanicut Park property from Curran and Mauran of Providence to the Island Coal Company has been filed at the town clerk’s office to be filed.

Most of the farmers have their seed potatoes and fertilizer and are only waiting for good weather to commence the work of planting.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, April 1, 1936

Dr. Richard Arlen addressed the [town] council in regard to being allowed tax exemption on a new X-ray machine that he wishes to install as part of his office equipment, but taxation would make installation prohibitive for him.

From the Newport Daily News, April 2, 1936

Republicans won all contested offices, including all five seats in the Town Council, at the annual election in Jamestown Wednesday, reversing the results of the past two years when the Democrats were victorious. The swing towards Republicanism reflected the Jamestown vote in the last two special elections.

From the Newport Daily News, April 6, 1936

Jamestown, at the annual financial town meeting Saturday afternoon, adopted a regular budget of $117,804.62 for the coming year. The only real discussion of the afternoon was over the $5,500 added to the highway appropriation for WPA projects. After much discussion the $5,500 was included in the highway appropriation by a vote of 36 to 20.

From the Newport Daily News, April 7, 1936

The plans for the proposed bridge from Saunderstown to Jamestown have been approved by all of the departments of the Public Works Administration in Washington and have been sent to Congress.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, April 6, 1961

The ferry scheduled to leave Jamestown at 11 a.m. today was 40 minutes late because of work going on in the slip there. The delay was caused by the use of a crane on the ferry to pick up some obstructions in the ferry slip in Jamestown.

A soapbox derby was planned by Jamestown Boy Scout Troop 1.

From the Newport Daily News, April 8, 1961

Two puppet plays were presented by grade 3-E yesterday morning at the Jamestown School.

“The Silly Princesses” was the title of the play pre- sented at the Jamestown School by grade 3-W yesterday.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily

News, April 7, 1986

A town planner, to be shared with Block Island, is expected to be hired by summer. The planner’s $21,000 salary will be divided three ways, with the state Department of Environmental Management picking up onethird of it. Town officials believe a professional planner will assist elected and appointed officials in dealing with the ever-increasing pressure of developers anxious to cash in on the rural setting of both Jamestown and Block Island.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

April 4, 1996

Interest in Jamestown real estate has blossomed with the spring. Brokers say there are a number of factors that have caused the local market to heat up. Local real estate experts say buyers are looking and island property is selling—quickly.

The municipal well located just south of North Pond has been producing 7,000 gallons of water a day for the past week with little drop in its water level.

Is it true that Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Jamestown? Frank Realejo, who owns the Dunkin’ Donuts in East Greenwich, would like to see it happen. Although he has lost interest in locating one of the franchise shops on Narragansett Avenue property just west of the fire station because the lot is too small, he is still looking for a site.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

April 5, 2001

Results from the 2000 census indicate that Jamestown led the way in Newport County population growth, up 12.5 percent over the last decade. Jamestown has 5,622 residents, up 623 since the 1990 census, and has more than doubled its population in the last 40 years, having had 2,267 residents in 1960.

The hot-button issues that surfaced at the candidate’s forum held Monday included parking and village growth, whether to build a new town hall and highway barn, and a desire to keep the town and school spending to a minimum.

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