2012-07-12 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Compiled by Sue Maden

Week of July 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, July 12, 1912

The celebration of the Fourth in this town was of the “safe and sane” order. There were an unusually large number of people on the island. Not only was the number of excursionists large, but there were more cottagers and hotel guests for the summer than usual. The celebration of the day and evening was far less noisy than usual, all seeming to enjoy themselves with the quieter forms of amusement. The result was that the police had little to do. The Fire Department did not have a call and the physicians were not required to dress cuts and bruises. In the afternoon there was a ball game between the Jamestowns and the Mayrants (sic). This was onesided, however, the local team winning by a score of 22-2. During the evening the waterfront was the scene of much activity. The Thorndike was illuminated with red, white and blue electric lights.

The new casino, which opened with a reception and a dance, attracted a large number, many of the officers and shipmen from the fleet being present in uniform.

75 years ago From the Newport Daily News, July 12, 1937

There was a large number of the summer colony and their guests at the Beaver Tail Country Club Saturday evening, which included many midshipmen from the destroyers.

Beavertail seemed to be the favorite spot Saturday and Sunday for those seeking a cool breeze, and on the rocks after sunset, many supper parties were held.

From the Newport Daily News, July 13, 1937

At the last meeting of the trustees of the Conanicut Yacht Club, it was voted to reduce the membership dues of non-yacht owners in half. It was explained by an official that the yacht club will be open to all residents of Jamestown, the desire being to make them yachtminded in addition to increasing the social activities of the club.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News, July 10, 1962

Who has the jurisdiction over the Jamestown Philomenian Library: the Town Council or the library board of trustees? The question was raised last night by the library committee. Mrs. Mc- Call MacLeish, library committee chairman, submitted a written report to the council containing three recommendations: the use of the Town Hall by the library as outlined by the Planning Commission, that the annual allotment of $100 for purchase of books and supplies be increased to $1,000, and that the library staff be included in the salary survey now being conducted by the University of Rhode Island for the town. From the Newport Daily News,

July 11, 1962

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority objects to a recommendation that it be abolished and has so notified the governor.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

July 8, 1987

Tuesday night’s bus tour of town facilities by town councilmen imparted some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the town employees are giving taxpayers more than their money’s worth. But the bad news is many town buildings are so small that it cramps the efforts of these workers. But nowhere did that point hit home harder than in the town’s police station. From the Newport Daily News,

July 9, 1987

The town had a $293,264 surplus in the 1986-87 fiscal year, according to audit figures released to councilmen Tuesday. From the Newport Daily News,

July 14, 1987

The Town Council Monday night approved an ordinance banning boat trailer parking on Conanicus and Walcott avenues. At the same time, the council set fines at $25 for violating the ordinance. Subsequent violations will cost offenders $50 and $75, respectively.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

July 10, 1997

Due to hot, dry weather, a ban on all outdoor water uses, except limited garden watering, will go into effect tonight at midnight. Under the emergency ordinance, violators of the water-use restrictions can be fined up to $500, even for a first offense.

Not one person, out of some 100 residents attending Tuesday night’s work session on the proposed plan to extend East Ferry’s steel pier using federal transportation money, spoke in favor of the idea.

(Headline) DOT revives $2.4 million road improvement, Southwest Avenue and part of Beavertail Road will be repaved, widened

(Headline) CILT buys development rights to the Godena farm.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

July 11, 2002

There is a complete ban on all outdoor watering in the town’s municipal water district, due to a problem with processing the water at the treatment plant on North Main Road.

Members of the town’s Quonset Davisville Liaison Committee, and their consultant, finalized a letter last week that identifies the many areas of study that the committee would like to take up when they are acting on the governor’s application to put a container port at the nearby industrial park.

U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee led a group of state and local officials and area residents on a stroll to the middle of the old Jamestown Bridge Monday afternoon during a press conference to announce his mission to seek federal funding for the Jamestown Bridge removal project.

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