2013-05-09 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of May 9
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 9, 1913

The large boathouse on the summer estate of the late Jo­seph Wharton of Philadelphia was destroyed by fire Satur­day evening, only the stone walls remaining of the building and its contents. The general opinion is that the cause of the fire was spontaneous combustion.

The ferry company will have a new automobile stage to connect across the island this summer. The running gear has been ordered and the top is being built by J.R. Caswell.

The plasterers are making good progress on the new Thorndike and are working overtime to enable the manage­ment to open for the season June 1.

The Peckham orchestra is arranging for what will prob­ably be the final dance of the winter season.

Mr. Freeman of the Fort Adams band has been secured as instructor by the Jamestown band and the first rehearsal was held Tuesday evening.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 12, 1938

The Jamestown and Newport Ferry Company is plan­ning to sell its old ferryboat Jamestown, which, after being placed in service here in 1923, established several records. Since 1932, the craft has been laid up pending improve­ments in business conditions. The Jamestown was built 54 years ago, and was named Fishkill on the Hudson. She was used at Newburg, N.Y., for service on the Hudson River for 34 years. After this period, she went to Bridgeport, Conn., and was used in excursion service as the Huguenot. Among records established here by the Jamestown was a run of nine minutes on a sick call from her dock at Jamestown to tie-up at Saunderstown. The normal time was 14 minutes. Another record was set in 1930 on the same run when the steamer carried 47 automobiles and 375 passengers.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 8, 1963

At the recent annual election of officers of the Jamestown Volun­teer Fire Department, Fire Chief Merton C. Hull was re-elected to that office for the 19th year. Mrs. Neil Lyons was re-elected to head the telephone answering station at her home, where she answers emergency and fire calls when the fire station is not manned. Her day extends from 3:45 p.m. to mid­night.

From the Newport Daily News, May 10, 1963

The Jamestown Merchants Bowling League of Jamestown Bowling Lanes held a banquet and awards night on Tuesday at Old Acres in North Kingstown.

From the Newport Daily News, May 13, 1963

Jamestown Hunters and Shoot­ers held a shoot yesterday at the Sherman Farm sand pit. High- powered rifles were used. Nine­teen were entered and about 40 attended.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 9, 1988

State transportation officials, already plagued by problems with building a new Jamestown bridge, now have to wrestle with some real headaches concerning the old one. The state’s deputy transporta­tion director said Friday that bids to repair the existing Jamestown Bridge came in twice as high as originally thought.

The Jamestown Shores Associa­tion is opposed to a plan to build a small recreation park at Hammond Pond. Residents of the area are concerned about noise, litter and problems supervising activities at the playground area. In April, town officials applied for a state grant to build the neighborhood park at Hammond Pond, a small pond surrounded by a wooded area within a few hundred yards of the West Passage of Narragansett Bay, The land was donated to the town.

From the Newport Daily News, May 9, 1988

The Town Council Monday night took the first step toward taking control of maintenance and inspection of privately owned sep­tic systems.

Town officials Monday night trimmed to four the number of po­tential sites for a new police sta­tion. They were: vacant land next to the Jamestown Philomenian Library, the lot now occupied by town offices on Southwest Av­enue, open land at Potter’s Point, near the sewage treatment plant, and the current site. (Note: The current site is the recreation cen­ter.)

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press, May 7, 1998

The Jamestown Rotary will be holding its 34th annual May Breakfast at the Lawn Avenue School on Saturday, May 9.

After 14 years at Town Hall, Town Clerk Theresa “Teri” Dono­van will work her last day on Fri­day, June 12.

After a week of digging up the intersection at Southwest and Hamilton avenues, one possible Narragansett Indian burial site has been found.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press, May 8, 2003

The Jamestown Democratic party took control of the Town Council in Wednesday’s election, winning three of the five seats.

Police Chief Thomas Tighe last week issued his annual report that cited homeland security, commu­nity policing, and community up­grades as major activities for the calendar year 2002. He also re­ported the department experienced a record increase of 26 percent in calls for service, and an increase of 15 percent in serious crimes in­cidents over the previous year.

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