2011-07-14 / Island History

This week in Island history

Week of July 14
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, July 14, 1911

[At a special meeting of the town council] the petition of J.J. Cummings for a skating rink in the Prospect House was referred to the next meeting. J.E. Watson’s bid for oil and supplies for street lighting was accepted, being in advance of half-cent per gallon over the wholesale price for oil, 90 cents per dozen for chimneys and 75 cents per gross for wicks. For lighting the streetlights at Conanicut Park W.E. Wright was the only bidder and was awarded the contract for three months, at $10 per month. R.E. Sherman was the only bidder for street lighting in the compact part of the town. His bid, which was accepted, was $60 per month for the summer months, and $30 per month for the remaining eight months.

During the recent hot weather the Grey Ledge teahouse [at Beavertail] has been largely patronized by parties who have found delightful relief from the heat. A lobster supper, a full course dinner, and then coffee on the plaza in the moonlight, has been the program of many a satisfied group of visitors during the past week.

[Photo caption] The Jamestown Post Office. For a few weeks in the summer this is a busy place. A few years ago a corner in a grocery store was sufficient for the mail facilities of that resort, while now the whole of the main building shown is required to meet the demands of summer. The ell in the rear provides office quarters for the town clerk.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, July 9, 1936

[At the Jamestown Board of Trade meeting] advertising Jamestown was the principal topic of the evening. From the Newport Daily News,

July 13, 1936

The Y.W.C.A. Seaside Camp at Conanicut Park opened for the season Saturday, with a registration of 60 girls, several for the season, and others for the different periods. The largest number is from Providence.

The $2.4 million Jamestown- Saunderstown bridge project, twice rejected by PWA’s national board of review, now is listed among the seven projects which have been approved and are eligible for inclusion in the new $300 million PWA program.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

July 15, 1986

The Jamestown Town Council voted Monday to recommend two controversial ramps be included in the new cross-island bridge connector road. One of the ramps has drawn fire from environmental groups concerned with intrusion into wetlands on the corner of Eldred Avenue and North Road. The Council also voted to recommend elimination of a Weeden Lane access road from the new road design.

In response to a number of objections from a number of her constituents, Rep. Norma B. Willis (Newport and Jamestown) is opposing a campaign to have the new Jamestown Bridge named after Giovannida Verrazano, the Italian explorer said to be the first European to navigate Narragansett Bay.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

July 11, 1996

Town officials will look into remedying potential safety hazards posed by double-sided parking on Conanicus and Walcott avenues south of East Ferry. The Town Council Monday asked Town Administrator Frances Shocket to report on the situation after two women who live in the affected neighborhood presented council members with a petition bearing 44 signatures.

With North Pond reservoir down 13 inches below capacity, town officials have restricted outdoor water use to every other day.

Ranging in age from 93 years to nine and one-half weeks, 174 direct descendants of Samuel and D. Bridget Smith gathered for a family reunion at Fort Getty Pavilion on Saturday, June 22.

Jamestown Superintendent Phyllis Schmidt has agreed to retire at the end of December rather than this August, when her contract was slated to end.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

July 12, 2001

Usage of the island’s waterfront was at the center of Monday night’s Town Council meeting as the council dealt with fishing complaints, Jet Ski complaints and a mooring appeal. The council decided to hold a public workshop on whether or not to close Head’s Beach in the Jamestown Shores to fishermen at night

[Photo caption] Liam Vetter shows his Independence Day spirit during the annual Fourth of July Parade on the north end. Several hundred people showed up for the march along East Shore Road.

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