2013-09-26 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of september 26
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, Sept. 26, 1913

Much satisfaction is expressed over the arrest of two chicken thieves Monday night. For a number of years a large amount of poultry has been stolen on the island, usually a few fowls being missed almost nightly. At one time a reward of $200 was offered, and it is now questioned if this is not in force at the present time.

After four days delay on account of stormy weather, work was resumed Tuesday on the addition to the schoolhouse.

The stormy weather of the past four days has had a tendency to make the hotel guests hasten their departure, and the hotels are making preparations to close after one of the most successful seasons in recent years.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 23, 1938

Jamestown is slowly recovering from the effects of Wednesday’s hurricane. Works Progress Administration workers, men and boys are working steadily to clear away fallen trees from the main highways and side streets.

The whistle house at Beavertail was washed away and many of the cottages on the east side of the light are either demolished or damaged beyond repair.

At 4 o’clock ferryboat Hammonton, which has been plying between west Jamestown and Saunderstown, left her dock on the west side, came around the north end of the island and stopped at Newport, where she left passengers who had been marooned on board.

The West Ferry wharf is completely deserted. The waiting room was wrecked and a portion of it is at Hull’s swamp, two miles north of the dock.

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 24, 1938

Through the cooperation of the Jamestown Fire Department, the Red Cross Wednesday established a central information and relief bureau at the fire station.

The main thoroughfares are pretty well cleared of fallen trees, and Conanicus Avenue is again open to traffic. The road to Beavertail has been roped off at the entrance to Mackerel Cove beach and no one is allowed to pass the point.

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 26, 1938

The town school opened this morning. The high pupils left on the 8 a.m. ferryboat Hammonton and returned on the government boat this afternoon.

Through the U.S. government, Jamestown has been provided with an emergency vessel to be used in ferry service to Newport. Ferry service between Jamestown and Saunderstown is nonexistent because of extensive damage on the Saunderstown side.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 21, 1963

Gross revenue on the Jamestown Bridge was $18,021, down 18 percent for the first 19 days of September this year as compared to the same period last year. It was felt that the decrease was due to the fact that last year’s America’s Cup races resulted in unusually large traffic flow over the bridge. The traffic for this same period was 50,102, or down 5,732 crossings, for the same number of days.

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 24, 1963

Army Engineers have recommended to the Jamestown Town Council that the abandoned World War II Army barracks at Fort Wetherill be burned, but the council, at its meeting last night, was not certain just who would do it. Fire Chief Merton Hull said it is not a job for the volunteer fire department. Twelve buildings are scheduled for razing. Largest are 10 wooden barracks, each 90 by 30 feet.

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 26, 1963

Harbor Defense Division 1-2 of the Naval Reserve, composed primarily of Narragansett Bay area residents, held its monthly drill Saturday and Sunday at its recently reactivated headquarters at Beavertail in Jamestown.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 23, 1988

Jamestown’s first town planner (Jennifer K. Parker) is resigning to take a job with a North Kingstown environmental consulting firm.

From the Newport Daily News, Sept. 27, 1988

Spurred by a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Town Council Monday night took a step toward allowing political signs in Jamestown.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press, Sept. 24, 1998

The Town Council has decided that it cannot approve of the state Department of Environmental Management’s plan for Fort Wetherill as presented in a recent “revised mission statement.”

At its meeting last week, the Jamestown Village Association voted to change its name to the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce – a move that will bring a more business-like tone and greater benefits to members of the organization.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press, Sept. 25, 2003

The Jamestown School Committee read and commented on a first draft of a letter that they intend to send to the North Kingstown School Committee that will serve as notification that they may be pulling out of North Kingstown High School beginning in three years.

The single act of transferring sales licenses has opened the door for the island’s first fast-food franchise restaurant in the form of Dunkin Donuts. Spinnaker’s Café has taken a down payment and transferred its victualizing license to Dunkin Donuts.

The M/V Dauriya, the Russian fish-holding vessel that has become a wintertime fixture in the lower bay, was given an official “welcome back” by the Jamestown Town Council Monday night.

Jamestown celebrates its 325th with flair. The celebration included speeches and a parade with floats.

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