2012-05-24 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of May 24
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, May 24, 1912

The ferry company is installing a turnstile at the Newport landing. This new method of collecting fares will probably go into effect June 1.

Mr. J. Bristo of the state board of good roads was in town Tuesday in conference with Mr. Alton Head, who has commenced the work of macadamizing the last mile and a half of the shore road. With this section done, the road will be complete from the ferry to Conanicut Park.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 24, 1937

Box 24 was struck Sunday evening for a fire at the Howard Ellis restaurant on Ferry Wharf. Frank J. O’Connor saw smoke issuing from the building and turned in the alarm. Mr. Ellis’ stock was badly damaged by the heat, smoke and water. The building is owned by D.D. Sheehan, who carried insurance. Mr. Ellis had no insurance on his fixtures. The recall was sounded an hour later. Defective wiring was believed the cause.

From the Newport Daily News, May 27, 1937

Superintendent C.E. Bradley spoke at the School Com- mittee meeting of a different type of graduation exercise, that was being planned for this year, and possible speakers were mentioned.

The Conanicut Grange weekly whist party was held at the grange hall Wednesday evening. Military whist was played.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, May 22, 1962

That Fort Wetherill in Jamestown should be returned to the tax roll for residential purposes seemed to be the general opinion of some 35 taxpayers last night in a hearing called by the Jamestown Council. The hearing was for the purpose of hearing views on the 59 acres of Navy-owned property, in the event that it is declared surplus.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

May 26, 1987

Sen. John H. Chafee, the first Rhode Island official to propose keeping a portion of the Jamestown Bridge for a fishing pier, today reiterated his support for that plan.

Sen. John H. Chafee announced today that the state Department of Transportation has agreed on a railing design for the new Jamestown Bridge, which will provide motorists with an unobstructed view of Narragansett Bay. From the Newport Daily News,

May 27, 1987

The “big one” that almost got away from Rhode Island fishermen didn’t. Bowing to substantial and increasing pressure, state offi cials announced Tuesday that 2,000 feet of the western end of the Jamestown Bridge will be retained for use as a fishing pier when the old bridge is razed.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

May 22, 1997

Sitting as the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners Monday, newly sworn Town Council members received a proposed budget for this year that could increase water rates by 7.5 percent and sewer rates by 5 percent.

A new record number of bird species was seen on the annual Conanicut Island Spring Bird Count held Sunday, May 18. Onehundred twelve were spotted, second only to the all-time high of 114 seen in 1995. Notable were two osprey at the Fox Hill Farm nesting pole, two monk parakeets who have been observed building a nest at the north end, a blue grosbeak at Beavertail, many Baltimore orioles all over the island, an American woodcock and Indigo buntings at Hodgkiss farm, bobolinks, six species of sparrows, and 15 species of warblers.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

May 23, 2002

Rehabilitation of the town’s sewer treatment system will cost $1.73 million more than budgeted, the Town Council, sitting as the Board of Sewer and Water Commissioners, was told Monday by Siegmund and Associates of Providence, consultants for updating the 24-year-old plant and 50-year-old pipe network.

The Town Council, sitting as the Board of Sewer and Water Commissioners, Monday killed, by tabling “for a year or two,” its proposal to expand sewer connections after protests from several town officials and some citizens during a 20-minute hearing.

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