2013-05-16 / News

This Week In Island History

Week of May 16
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 16, 1913

An alarm was rung at 10:30 Monday morning for a grass fire at the Hopkins lot on Greene Lane. In burning caterpil­lars’ nests from the trees, the grass leaves became ignited and the blaze quickly spread to the pine trees with which the lot is covered. A volunteer bucket brigade attempted to put out the fire but as the pines caught fire it spread beyond their control and threatened a number of cottages in the vicinity. Hose 2 with a hydrant stream made short work of the blaze.

The ferry contract with Fort Greble expired Friday, but the boat will continue to stop, those who travel there being now obliged to pay their own fare.

The contract for the excavating and foundation of the ad­dition to the schoolhouse has been awarded to Mr. Eugene Peckham by the School Committee. Two bids were received. Mr. Peckham’s for $455 being the lower. He is to complete the work within 30 days.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 17, 1938

At a special meeting of the Town Council for the purpose of opening the bids for Mackerel Cove beach, there were no bids. Mrs. A. Coleman Tefft appeared later in the evening and made a bid of $300 and percentage, which was accepted. Mrs. Tefft has been the manager at the beach for the past two years. (Note: This was the last season because the pavilion was destroyed in September by the 1938 Hurricane.)

From the Newport Daily News, May 19, 1938

Pupils from the Thomas H. Clarke and Carr schools went to the flying field on the Beavertail farm, in the school bus, to witness the air mail flight. Many townspeople were also present.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, May 14, 1963

The outgoing Jamestown Town Council last night, in its fi­See nal work session, referred much of its workload to the newly elected council. For the last two years, the council, headed by Donald J. Du­pre, numbered four Democrats and a lone Republican. For the next two years the council will consist of five Democrats.

From the Newport Daily News,

May 18, 1963

Camp Seaside at Jamestown will open for its 85th season on June 30. This is a resident camp of the Prov­idence YMCA. At present there are openings in camp staff for a nurse, archery and tennis counselors and a waterfront assistant. Camp Sea­side is located at Conanicut Park in Jamestown and has facilities to accommodate 80 girls from 8 years of age through 16. The buildings include six sleeping cabins, dining hall, recreation hall, craft house, infirmary, administrative building, and lavatory building with hot and cold running water.

Eighty students of the James­town junior high school depart­ment yesterday took an annual all- day bus trip to New York City. The seventh- and eighth-graders were taken on a tour of the United Na­tions building, the stock exchange, the waterfront and the battery. They stopped for dinner before re­turning home last night.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News,

May 11, 1988

The state Department of Trans­portation has recommended that Aetna Bridge Co. of Pawtucket do the repair work on the Jamestown Bridge. Aetna was the lowest bid­der at $925,932.

From the Newport Daily News,

May 17, 1988

A study of groundwater con­tamination around the now-closed town landfill took a step forward Monday night. The Town Council authorized spending up to $2,200 to have University of Rhode Island professors draw up a “request for proposals” for the study.

From the Newport Daily News,

May 18, 1988

Deck repairs to the Jamestown Bridge are tentatively scheduled to begin June 1. Besides repairs to the deck, the contract calls for structural repairs on the underside of the bridge.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

May 14, 1998

The state Department of Trans­portation decided last Friday to downgrade the $1.96 million con­struction project on Southwest Av­enue to just resurfacing due to the possible presence of Narragansett Indian burials.

More than a week of rain and humidity have delayed painting the outside of the water tower, and town officials may have to extend the restrictions on water-use cur­rently in effect.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

May 15, 2003

The only clearly reliable way to deal with Jamestown’s ongoing water needs is through personal conservation of water, even though millions of dollars in technical ef­forts will be made to squeeze more water out of the island’s bedrock.

Ken Littman, the top vote- getting Town Council candidate in last week’s election, and other candidates for Town Council, used the need to combine the three town office buildings as a campaign is­sue. Currently, the town offices are in three buildings: Town Hall on Narragansett Avenue, the planning office on West Street and the town offices on Southwest Avenue. A new town hall will be a top prior­ity.

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