2013-01-17 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of January 17
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. 17, 1913

Town Clerk W.H. Severance has completed the following record of the number of marriages, births and deaths, as recorded in the town clerk’s office for the year 1912. (There were 14 marriages – one was a second marriage; 28 births – 15 males and 13 females, 19 of the births were of native parentage and nine of foreign parentage; and 29 deaths – 11 males and 15 females – three of these were over 90.)

Mr. E.G. Littlefield has moved from the Hull Cove farm to the golf club farm.

Mr. T.D. Wright is building a large cottage on Diamond Spring Park for Mr. Benjamin Easton of Newport.

Work is progressing on the new Hotel Thorndike. The main building is to be four stories high, with the latest improvements.

Mr. Ernest Caswell of Wakefield was here Saturday, overseeing the work on the Bay View, in which several new bathrooms are being put in.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 17, 1938

The Jamestown Town Team triumphed over the S.A.E. Fraternity quintet of Rhode Island State College, 38-26, in a fast game seen at the Holy Ghost Hall, Jamestown, Sunday afternoon.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 18, 1938

It was quite an unusual sight Sunday afternoon when Mr. and Mrs. Norman F. Caswell were seen with their ponies and sleigh driving about town.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 19, 1938

A whale, 15-feet long and weighing 2 tons, is on the town beach at Mackerel Cove, Jamestown, The mammoth of the deep, which has some time since departed this life, floated up during the night recently, and those who saw it the following day could hardly believe their eyes. Although whales have been seen swimming in the vicinity of Jamestown, this is the first time in years that one has floated up on shore.

50 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

Jan. 15, 1963

A license was granted by the Jamestown Town Council last night to the Holy Ghost Society for a dance in its hall Jan. 20. A 24-hour liquor license was granted to Jamestown Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, for Jan. 19 at the Jamestown Golf and Country Club.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

Jan. 18, 1988

Improvements made to the Newport Bridge toll plaza delight the men and women who call the toll booths their home for eight hours a day. “These are nice booths,” said chief plaza supervisor Manuel M. Neronha, who manages the 17 booth operators. Neronha said the gleaming stainless steel booths are half the size of the old booths, but new features make them twice as comfortable. Besides improved heating, the booths will be airconditioned and well ventilated to prevent buildup of exhaust fumes. From the Newport Daily News,

Jan. 20, 1988

Town taxpayers face a minor tax increase for the third consecutive year, based on preliminary budget figures released Tuesday night. Two years ago the tax rate rose 1.8 percent. The current tax rate is $14.60 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Jan. 15, 1998

A public workshop has been scheduled to discuss a proposal, now before the Town Council, that would help finance the purchase of open space on the island. (The plan was to revive a piece of legislation that would enable the town to collect a tariff on the sale of all island homes and parcels of land that would be used to create a land bank for the purpose of purchasing conservation land.)

Town officials are not happy with the latest developments in the Harbor Commission’s attempt to recoup $21,500, it spent on design plans for the defunct steel-pier extension, from the Department of Transportation.

The plan to develop Quonset Point-Davisville into a megaport facility will include dredging within a quarter mile of Conanicut Island, and filling in an area at QPD of over 500 acres, shortening the distance between Jamestown and QPD by about half a mile.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

Jan. 16, 2003

The Town Council meeting Monday processed changes on the Planning Commission, as mandated by recently adopted amendments to the Town Charter.

Calls for police assistance went from 4,904 in 1998 to 7,619 last year, with more than 10,000 calls projected for the coming year. Other issues presented were that a detective position was lost in a previous budget and lack of backup.

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