2012-10-04 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of October 4
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, Oct. 4, 1912

Twenty or more members of the Conanicut Grange participated in a straw ride Friday evening to the north end of the island. Meeting at the Town Hall, the party took Peckham’s large lumber wagon and drove to Mr. T.G. Carr’s farm, where they found a large driftwood fire on the shore. After the fire died down they adjourned to Mr. T.G. Carr’s farm, where supper was served. The return drive down the island, under the full moon and with perfect weather conditions, was delightful. Altogether the affair was voted one of the most enjoyable this year.

(Headline) Hotel Thorndike burned.

(Headline) Big Jamestown hostelry a total loss, but surrounding buildings saved.

(Headline) Newport firemen, with forces from the training station and the ships, aid local department.

Saturday night Jamestown had the largest and most destructive fire in its history. The Thorndike Hotel was completely destroyed. The fire itself was discovered a little after 11 o’clock and in two hours the hotel was a mass of ruins.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 1, 1937

The yacht club closed its season Thursday and all the boats have been laid up for the winter.

At the Red Cross rummage sale Wednesday afternoon, the proceeds were gratifying. From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 2, 1937

William A. Gosford of Union Street has been appointed superintendent of the PWA projects in Jamestown. Mr. Gosford has been in charge of work at the crusher for the past two years.

The contract, which was awarded to the Peckham Wrecking Company of Newport for razing the Stout cottage on the cliff walk, has been completed. From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 5, 1937

The treasurer reported to the Town Council that the income from $200, left by the late Anna J. Armbrust, will be used as an annual prize, to be awarded to the girl in the public schools of Jamestown who shows the most proficiency in the sewing department. From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 6, 1937

The Board of Trade met in the Town Hall. Mr. Ross Harrison of the summer colony spoke on the change of the town election and Financial Town Meeting dates. Members of both parties have approved the proposition of having a council elected for a five-year term instead of a one-year term, one member to be elected each year. This also has the approval of the present Town Council.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 1, 1962

About 200 attended the Jamestown Firemen’s Ball Saturday night at Holy Ghost Hall. The Rhythm Ramblers of West Warwick provided the music. From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 2, 1962

(Editorial) There’s no question but that any community with the population and area of Jamestown should have a zoning ordinance. The security of the property of all citizens demands it. While Jamestown’s Town Council has so far failed to consider the study that the town’s planning board, as prepared with the aid of the Rhode Island Development Council recommends, the fact that the council has re-enacted the zoning code adopted in 1935. There has been some question as to its legality, but it will serve to prevent excesses in land and building use until the zoning subject is finally settled.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 7, 1987

Traffic was backed up for almost an hour Tuesday afternoon as the state Department of Transportation began repairs to the Jamestown Bridge. Both Jamestown and North Kingstown police reported considerable tie-ups because DOT has one lane of the bridge closed. From the Newport Daily News,

Oct. 8, 1987

State and federal transportation officials are now leaning toward a mechanical drainage system for the new cross-island bridge-connector road in Jamestown. Previously, the state Department of Transportation had favored boring a 4,000-foot-long tunnel through the hill on Eldred Avenue to drain runoff from the new road into the West Passage of Narragansett Bay.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Oct. 2, 1997

The Town Council Monday authorized spending $4,000 to hire a professional to design and cost out an addition to the ambulance barn on Knowles Court. For several years, town officials have been discussing the possibility of razing the existing building and building a new barn on a lot immediately west of the fire station that is owned by Michael Muksian. The town-owned lot on Knowles Court would then be turned into a parking lot to help alleviate the parking problem at East Ferry.

The state Department of Transportation Monday agreed to eliminate the east sidewalk from its plan to upgrade Southwest Avenue and to pave the west sidewalk with porous bluestone aggregate.

William J. Gelb will have to jump through a few more hurdles before his application to locate an aquaculture farm off the west coast of Conanicut Island will be a reality.

The quarterly water pumping report shows that water usage jumped significantly during the early summer months. The most recent report shows a sharp spike in the month of July – up to approximately 325,000 gallons per day, in a town that averages about 250,000 gallons per day.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Oct. 3, 2002

It was a beautiful fall day Sunday for Heyday [sic] at the Watson Farm.

The sentiment among Chamber of Commerce members is that Jamestown had a very good summer season, and that the restaurants “with the wide variety that we have to offer” makes Jamestown “more of a destination,” according to chamber president Joan Goldstein.

The town needs to plan for a new financial format, with greatly increased data and documentation, for audits beginning with the next fiscal year. The need was emphasized by James Nadeau of Warwick, whose company of certified public accountants conducts the annual audit for Jamestown.

Return to top