2011-05-05 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of May 5
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, May 5, 1911

The change of the mails has necessitated an alteration in the ferry schedule, and a new one went into effect Wednesday. The mails, after being carried one year and 10 months by the Saunders line, are now being carried by the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company. The New York mail, which has been going across the island by automobile for more than a year, is now going by the old route, the Wickford line.

The well being driven for Mr. J. D. Johnson and others, to supply their bungalows, has reached the depth of 400 feet and has struck water enough to meet the demand.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 2, 1936

[At the town council meeting] it was voted to seal all roads built under PWA projects as soon as possible; the superintendent of highways purchase road binding and other equipment; that a stone road be built on Clinton Avenue.

From the Newport Daily News, May 4, 1936

A large number witnessed the opening games of the softball league held Sunday afternoon at the West Ferry, between the Jamestown Firemen and the Allied Citizens’ Club, when the latter defeated Firemen in the first game, 8-7. In the second game, assisted by Merritt and Moll, the Firemen won, 13-12.

From the Newport Daily News, May 7, 1936

Harry R. Horgan has appealed to the state Supreme Court from the decision of the Jamestown Board of Review, refusing change in classification of his property at the foot of Narragansett Avenue, which would permit him to install three underground storage tanks for a gasoline station.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 4, 1961

Jamestown Democrats retained control of the Town Council but lost all three School Committee seats as Republicans made inroads into town offices for the first time in five years in yesterday’s biennial election. A total of 1,188 of the town’s 1,645 voters used the voting machines. An additional 95 absentee and 39 shut-in votes remain to be counted.

From the Newport Daily News, May 5, 1961

A bird rare in Rhode Island and never before reported in Jamestown has been spotted there by two observers. It is the cattle egret, still so new to the United States that it is not listed in American bird books, except for one Texas bird book.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 3, 1986

(In an ad for Bay View Condominiums) Two bedroom condominiums feature spacious private balconies, fireplaces, dynamic kitchens, walk-in closets, whirlpool tubs, air-conditioning, state-of-the-art security, covered parking and elevators. Prices begin at $282,000.

From the Newport Daily News, May 6, 1986

The Town Council suggested Monday that chairmen of the Planning Board and Waterfront Authority be Jamestown representatives on a panel which would select a town planner [who would work in Jamestown and Block Island].

From the Newport Daily News, May 7, 1986

The R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority has awarded a $1.5 million contract to E.I. du- Pont deNemours & Co, of Delaware to paint parts of the Newport Bridge.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

May 2, 1996

This Saturday, May 4, is the official start of the Jamestown baseball and softball season. The annual opening day parade will be followed by the dedication of the Lawn Avenue baseball diamond in the memory of the late Bill Piva.

The Jamestown Rotary Club will serve islanders “all they can eat” from 7 to 10 a.m., Saturday, May 4, at the Lawn Avenue School. [It was the 32nd annual May Breakfast].

The six Jamestown teams that competed in the Rhode Island State Odyssey of the Mind Finals will present their short skits for the community this Monday night from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Melrose Avenue School.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

May 3, 2001

The Jamestown Republican party wrested control of the Town Council in Wednesday’s election, winning three of the five seats.

The results of a week-long Jamestown School self-study were released to the public at the most recent School Committee meeting. The report outlines the findings of a committee of 35 parents, teachers, and community members-at-large who spent the week interviewing staff, faculty and students, as well as studying many school documents and shadowing the daily activities of 35 students. Results are divided into three categories: [student learning, teaching and the school].

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