2013-01-03 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of January 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, Jan. 3, 1913

The signing of the electric lighting franchise has assured property holders that they may have the current by July 1 at the latest, and already Mr. Lincoln Hammett’s men have begun the work of wiring houses for which he has the contract.

Pennsylvania Railroad box barge No. 72 has completed discharging coal for the ferry company.

Mr. J.H. Tefft is confined to his home on Shoreby Hill by an attack of appendicitis for which he will submit to an operation.

A fleet of small lumber-laden schooners is riding out today’s blow, at anchor in Dutch Island harbor.

Messrs. Hoyle and Schade gave a subscription social in the Gardner house hall Friday evening. There was a good attendance and music was furnished by the Peckham orchestra.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 3, 1938

There were many New Year’s Eve celebrations on the island, with dances, suppers and card parties.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 4, 1938

Alleging over-assessment and over-taxation, eight summer residents have brought suit through Sheffield & Harvey against the tax assessors of the town of Jamestown. The eight pieces of real estate had a total evaluation of about $276,225, the tangible personal property about $16,800 and the residents paid under protest taxes amounting to approximately $5,860.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 4, 1938

Preceding the first game in the new series of the Bayside Whist club Monday evening, a roast lamb supper was served, after which drawing for partners took place.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

Jan. 2, 1963

Gov. Chafee yesterday emphasized the need for the proposed Newport Bay Bridge and was the first chief executive to include such a recommendation in his inaugural address. From the Newport Daily News,

Jan. 4, 1963

Orioles spotted in Jamestown’s Christmas bird count are enjoying Rhode Island johnnycakes for their daily fare. Miss Helen M. Tefft of Clinton Avenue reported on Dec. 27 that orioles have been visiting daily at her bird feeder for the last two weeks. Seventy-two species were counted. This is the highest ever recorded in Jamestown. In 1956, however, 71 species of birds were seen in the annual count. The total number of birds counted numbered 5,030.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

Jan. 5, 1988

Insisting the problem of “providing adequate public parking facilities must be resolved,” the town planner Monday night presented four possible options to the Town Council. Option 1 would be to raze the former state garage on Narragansett Avenue and build 11 parallel parking spaces on the 6,250 square-foot lot. Option 2 would be to sell or trade the former state garage space for another lot within the commercial district, which could be converted to parking. Option 3 would be to arrange with the two downtown banks to use their parking lots over the weekend. Option 4 would be to create a municipal parking facility on the recreation center lot. This would force the police station to be relocated.

The School Committee Monday night approved a $2.9 million budget for next September to June, an 8 percent increase over this school year.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Jan. 1, 1998

This year’s plunge is the 22nd to be held in Jamestown. Raising about $30,000, it is the third largest moneymaker of the year for the Special Olympics. Jamestown police confirmed that the conference room at the police station will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for swimmers, who must sign in and leave their pledge deposits. It was estimated that there would be 600 swimmers.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Jan. 3, 2003

On Jan. 1, 1976, 13 friends, still celebrating from the night before, decided to jump into the cold winter waters of Mackerel Cove to kick off the New Year. Twentyseven years later that rambunctious decision has turned into one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Rhode Island Special Olympics, as well as the biggest tourist activity of the year in Jamestown. Some 2,500 people gathered at Mackerel Cove beach on New Year’s Day 2003, as over 600 of them dove into the 36-degree Atlantic Ocean for the annual Penguin Plunge.

It was reported that 66 species were noted on the 19th annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec. 28.

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