2012-01-12 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Compiled by Sue Maden Week of January 12

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 , Jan. 12, 1912

A force of carpenters from Philadelphia have arrived to make improvements to the McClellan cottage, recently purchased by Mrs. J.P. Wetherill.

The members of Hose No. 2 entertained the members of the fire department at a smoker Monday evening at the quarters on Greene lane. In spite of the weather conditions there was a large number present. After pipes, cigars and cigarettes were lighted, sides were chosen by Foreman Knowles and Foreman Arnold and a debate held. The subject was “Why the hand reel was quicker than the horse reel.” After more than two hours the debate was decided in favor of the negative. The affair was so successful that another will be held in the near future.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 11, 1937

Thomas O’Connor, Robert Buchanan, James Ronchie, Warren Gardner and High Brown, who are to enter CCC camps, reported at Fort Adams today for assignments.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 12, 1937

At the whist party held Monday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Burrowclough on Howland Avenue, eight tables were in play.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 14, 1937

Plans for the birthday ball of President Roosevelt will be discussed at a meeting to be held in the town hall Friday evening at 8 o’clock. All interested are invited to attend.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 9, 1962

A suggestion that Newport Bay Bridge be brought across Goat Island to Fleet Landing on Long Wharf had been made by Rear Adm. Henry Eccles, USN.

A letter was received [by the Town Council] from John Eldred Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, opposing combining the Jamestown Philomenian Library and the Lena H. Clarke School Library.

The Jamestown Recreation Board asked that ponds be checked for safe skating, and this information be made available to parents. The council referred the matter to Police Chief Frederick C.B. Smyth and Recreation Director Donald E. Gillis.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 13, 1962

The Jamestown Bridge Commission, which in 1960 successfully fought against a state bond issue for the Newport Bay Bridge, last night voted to consider building such a bridge itself.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 10, 1987

After more than two years of preliminary work, construction of the Bay View condominium project will begin Monday. At ground-breaking ceremonies Friday at Canonicus (sic) and Narragansett avenues, a smiling developer, Ron Jobin, surrounded by others involved in the project, and onlookers, scooped a shovelful of dirt from what will be the southeast corner of the new building.

Jamestown school teachers have agreed to a new contract calling for 5.5 percent pay raises in each of the next two years.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 13, 1987

Several town officials blasted the state Department of Transportation Monday night for failing to notify them of a meeting last Thursday of state and federal officials to the site of proposed Route 138 highway ramps.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 15, 1987

Sen. David R. Carlin Jr. submitted legislation Tuesday that will force the state to retain part of the old Jamestown bridge as a fishing pier.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press, Jan. 9, 1997

The Jamestown Fire department recently paid off its $157,000 loan from the Bank of Newport for an almost new engine and tanker.

(Photo caption) New Year’s Day revelers charge into Mackerel Cove at the stroke of noon for the island’s 21st annual Penguin Plunge. The sky was blue, the air temperature was a nippy 25 degrees and the water’ temperature was reported as a cold 31 degrees. An estimated crowd of 3,000 crowded the beach. About $30,000 was expected to be raised for the Rhode Island Special Olympics.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Jan. 10, 2002

During a transaction that took place Jan. 4, Island Realty acquired the venerable Meredith and Clarke Real Estate firm.

If all goes according to plan, the island’s new water pipeline will be pumping by the end of the week. With the end of federal funds, the pipe will eventually be laid underground, but it will start transporting water while atop the ground alongside North Main Road.

State and town officials hope to meet this week with Jamestown residents to discuss concerns about possible solutions to noise and light disturbances caused by the operations of the Russian fishprocessing ships now anchored in the bay’s West Passage.

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