Historic Godena’s Garage items displayed at library
The Jamestown Historical Society is currently exhibiting memorabilia from John Godena’s Garage (1952-1972) in the hallway case at the Jamestown Philomenian Library.
Among the items displayed is Godena’s cashbox, photographs of his tow truck, an account book from 1971, and a two-page 1952 bill detailing the total cost of building the garage, which was on North Road where Cumberland Farms is currently located.
The bill was for $910.18. The large “Godena’s Garage” sign seen in one of the photographs is also on display in the meeting hall of the library.
There is a photograph of John Godena from 1969 Gates Mystery Car News, “He Just Never Misses.” Gates sold V-belts and gave prizes to garage mechanics who spotted belts that needed replacement. The mystery car would go to different garages to see if the mechanic found the defective belt. John Godena never missed in 12 years. One of the awards, five silver dollars, is also on display, on loan from John Godena Jr.
John P. Godena Sr. was born in 1907 in East Providence. As a young man he worked as a truck driver for the state and then at the graphite mine at the north end of Jamestown. During the Depression he was employed at the town’s crusher, quarrying and crushing stone to form stable crushed stone roadbeds for Jamestown roads. In 1952, after working many years at Moll’s Garage on Narragansett Avenue (where Conanicut Marine Services now has a store), he opened his own place on North Road. He died in 1991.
Most of the items on display were donated to the society by John Godena Jr. and Geri Godena Rogers. The exhibit was prepared by Carol Lake, Delia Klingbeil, Sue Maden and Rosemary Enright. It can be seen during regular hours at the Jamestown Philomenian Library.