2011-10-13 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Compiled by Sue Maden

Week of October 13

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, Oct. 13, 1911

Shortly after 6 o’clock Thursday evening an alarm was sent in for a haystack fire on Shoreby Hill, at the head of Grinnell Street. Hose 2 responded and a hydrant stream quickly killed the blaze, but the fire had worked under the bottom of the stack and it required an hour’s work by the few firemen present to pull over all the hay to put out the last spark. The hay was the property of Mr. Alvin H. Peckham whose loss will exceed $100. How the fire originated could not be explained.

The fall fishing from the rocks has evidently set in, judging from the catches made the past week. At Beavertail Senator Clarke and Messrs. Arthur Clarke and John Brooks were high hook, with 175 fish weighing a total of 280 pounds.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 8, 1936

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lyons have returned from New York where they attended the World Series games.

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 14, 1936

There was a large attendance at the reception held Tuesday evening at the Holy Ghost hall, for Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Matoes, who were married in the morning. Dancing was enjoyed until a late hour, and refreshments were served.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 10, 1961

The Jamestown School Committee last night voted to have all teachers take a course in teaching language arts (which would be one half hour a week for 30 weeks) and adopted a new home work policy. Letters would be sent to parents clarifying the newly adopted home work policy. It will be given in grades one through eight, increasing from 15 minutes until, at Grade six, a minimum of one hour’s home study will be required. Grades seven and eight will continue under the present policy. Flu shots were authorized for the staff on a voluntary basis. The Jamestown Hardware Co., the lone bidder on 24 storm windows, submitted a bid of $412 for windows with a sliding vent, and for the plain type $412. Action was deferred on this plain type.

The Jamestown Town Council will meet with Civilian Defense officials Sunday morning to inspect Fort Getty as to its possible use as a community in case of a nuclear attack. The council awarded a $5,800 contract for the installation of a new heating system in the town recreation center.

From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 13, 1961

The Jamestown Bridge Commission Wednesday approved an estimated budget of $141,717 for the fiscal year beginning on Dec. 1. This is a raise of $1,761 over last year’s budget.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 9, 1986

Long years of negotiation came to a fruitful conclusion this morning when the state officially turned over the old state highway garage on Narragansett Avenue to town officials. In opening remarks, [Councilwoman] Charlotte Richardson detailed some history of the building. Built in 1917, the building was first used as an automobile dealership. The owner, Harry Shatzer, eventually created the Jamestown- Newport Transfer Co., which handled freight coming in from the ferries. After the 1938 hurricane, the building became a machine shop for the ferries. In the early 1950s, the state bought the ferry system and operated its own repair shop from the Narragansett Avenue building. When the Newport Bridge opened in June 1969, the building was locked up and has not been used since. “Meanwhile, we are here today to complete a circle where the fine old building is concerned, and to welcome it back home again,” Richardson said.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Oct. 10, 1996

Next week you can hear the sounds of bagpipers, see fellow islanders wearing Scottish kilts, and witness a traditional Highlands’ sword dance – and you won’t have to journey further than the community center. That is where the Jamestown Community Theatre is staging “Brigadoon” which will open Friday evening, Oct. 18.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Oct. 11, 2001

(Photo caption) Monday was a perfect day for a bicycle race. About 365 riders were on hand for the Rotary’s APC Jamestown Classic.

The Town Council Monday night heard a plan Narragansett Electric has for running a backup power line from Narragansett, along the floor of the bay’s West Passage, to Fort Getty.

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