2011-06-09 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of June 9
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.

Scattering Seeds

By John A. Murphy

Charles Darrow (1857-19 ), the great litigator, learned at his father’s knee that “doubt was the beginning of wisdom.”

He represented 102 men facing the death penalty. Not one of these was executed.

Darrow said his sympathies always were with the weak, the suffering, and the poor. “I tried to relieve them so that I myself could be relieved.”

For insight into the life’s work of Charles Darrow, read Jill Lepore’s lucid article in The New Yorker of May 23, 2011.

100 years ago

From the Newport Journal, June 9, 1911

Captain William Littlefield of Block Island, formerly with the Iron Steamship Company of New York, has accepted a position with the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company.

The candidates nominated by the recent Republican caucus in Jamestown are not to acquire their election without opposition in the town meeting Tuesday morning. The regulars frankly admitted after the caucus that they had been caught napping, but said they would wake up and start action, preparatory to winning on Election Day. At the last town meeting, when the plan to purchase the opposing ferry interests was ratified, by the voters, the defeated faction gave notice that it would be heard from later, when the town officers came up for election again, yet it was after this warning that the regulars failed to anticipate a movement against them, such as took place in the caucus.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, June 8, 1936

Pupils of he fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades of the Thomas H. Clarke School went on a tour to Plymouth Saturday. Among the places of interest visited were the “Monument to Our Forefathers,” Plymouth Rock, Burial Hill and the Museum.

From the Newport Daily News, June 13, 1936

[At the town council meeting] it was voted that Frank Cody be authorized to remove trees on the shore side of Cananicus (sic) avenue between Lincoln and Friendship streets at a cost not to exceed $12, and that Councilman Ellis be appointed a committee to oversee the removal of said trees. The superintendent [of highways] was authorized to purchase dynamite and caps to be used on WPA project 50 years ago. From the Newport Daily News,

June 10, 1961

The Red Cross Fund drive has reached $2,425. Frederick A. Caswell reported that 46 certifi- cates were awarded last year to swimmers (22 beginners, 10 intermediate, 7 swimmers, 6 junior life saving, 1 senior life saving). Mrs. Frank Balsey. Motor corps chairman, reported one trip to a Providence hospital, and one also to Newport Hospital.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

June 9, 1986

Save the Bay will stage its 10th annual Swim the Bay on Aug. 2. One hundred swimmers will attempt to swim the 2 1/2- mile crossing of Narragansett Bay’s East Passage in the shadow of the Newport Bridge to help raise money for Rhode Island’s largest environmental group. From the Newport Daily News,

June 10, 1986

The Town Council may close part of Maple Avenue to traffic to cut down on speeding. Area residents asked the Council Monday night to close the street from the Maple Avenue sewage pump to Sheffield Cove. [The council] transferred a beer and wine license from CafĂ© in the Mall to Charles Carstens doing business as “The Curtain Call.” [The council] closed the Narragansett Avenue boat ramp from 8 p.m. June 30 to 8 p.m. July 1 because of the Tall Ship Parade of Sail on July 1.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

June 6, 1996

Water loss from a break in the water main on Conanicus Avenue, across from the Bank of Newport, last week was minimal.

Eight gardens open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. The tour is called “Gardens by the Bay and Views Too!” and is hosted by the Quononoquott Garden Club. Proceeds from the tour go towards the beautification of Jamestown.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

June 7, 2001

After a lengthy discussion of the bids received to replace the roof at the Lawn Avenue school – all of which were substantially higher than the school’s budget will allow – the School Committee voted 5-0 May 31 to put out a new request for quotes to a wider range of contractors.

The Harbor Management Commission held its first workshop for public input on the draft of its revised Comprehensive Harbor Management Plan on Wednesday, May 30.

Return to top