2014-01-02 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of January 2
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. 2, 1914

The Christmas tree exercises of St. Matthew’s Church were held Wednesday evening in the Town Hall. The desks and seats used by the school, which has been occupying the hall since September, have been moved to be put in place in the addition to the schoolhouse. The efforts of the little ones who took part showed much painstaking by their teachers. Three handsomely decorated trees occupied the platform and each member of the Sunday school received therefore a present and a box of candy. After the distribution of gifts, cake and ice cream were served.

Owing to the public dissatisfaction with the present telephone service, a public hearing will be held by the Town Council on Jan. 12 in the Town Hall.

Wednesday being the last of open days on rabbits, several parties took advantage of the good weather to hunt on the island.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 3, 1939

There was a very large attendance at the New Year’s Eve ball held at the Holy Ghost hall and many entertained in their homes after the dance.

Rest-a-bit, one of the cottages at Potter Cove, which was badly damaged in the hurricane, has been razed and the material taken to Newport by F. J. Armbrust, the owner.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 5, 1939

At the Town Council meeting, it was voted to authorize the highway committee to act on the special town meeting resolution passed Nov. 28, that the Town Council be authorized to direct and survey, bound and mark out Eldred avenue for public use, and to prevent encroachments, and to remove all obstructions.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 2, 1964

Field observers in Jamestown, whose figures have now been compiled, spotted 4,552 birds, representing 65 species during the Christmas bird count taken on Dec. 26 in the town. Although Jamestown’s count is unofficial, due to the size of Conanicut Island (a 15-mile diameter is necessary for recording for the National Audubon Society), the count is recorded in Rhode Island and is considered important.

From the Newport Daily News, Jan. 6, 1964

The Jamestown Philomenian Library Association held its quarterly meeting yesterday and it was reported that the Rhode Island Foundation, in reply to a request from the association for financial assistance in arranging books from the Peyton Hazard estate, stated that the foundation possibly will consider the request for funds at its April meeting.

Mrs. Frank M. Braman, librarian, reported that 750 books, recently received from the state library services in rural areas, are now in process of being catalogued for circulation.

25 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, December 31, 1989

As Mike McGovern tells the story, it started out as a dare between buddies. McGovern and a few friends were sitting around talking the night of Dec. 31, 1975, when they decided an ocean dip would be the perfect way to usher in the new year - if any of them actually had the guts to do it. Thirteen years later, that lark has spiraled into what may be Jamestown’s wackiest – and most well known – contribution to Rhode Island culture. Tomorrow at noon, more than 350 penguins are expected to barrel into the surf at Mackerel Cove to continue the tradition begun by McGovern and his friends: the Penguin Plunge.

10 years ago

(The Jamestown Press was not published this week.)

Return to top