2014-03-06 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of March 6
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.

From the Newport Journal, March 6, 1914

The island experienced the worst blow for a number of years Sunday afternoon, the wind reaching the proportions of a gale shortly before sunset. The tide was at the time the highest of the winter, and helped increase the damage along the east shore, which was exposed to the wind. Wharves, bathing houses and boats that were hauled up several feet above the usual high tide, were damaged. On shore everything movable was blown about, shutters were blown from houses and loose shingles were torn from the roofs. The worst damage was done at the Gardner House, where the wind gained a hold under the tin roofing and stripped almost the entire roof of the wing on the front of the covering, which lies in the back yard of the hotel, a crumpled and twisted mass.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, March 1, 1939

The Thomas H. Clarke School assembly was filled to capacity Tuesday evening, when a meeting of the Jamestown Athletic Association was held, and the advantages of a recreational center for the younger generation were discussed by many of those present.

From the Newport Daily News, March 2, 1939

Gov. William H. Vanderbilt will be asked by the Jamestown Town Council what part the state will take in the rehabilitation of the West Ferry, inactive since the hurricane of last Sept. 21.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, March 3, 1964

Test borings for the proposed Newport Bay Bridge are scheduled to start tomorrow in the East Passage of the bay. Bridge Authority Chairman Frances Dwyer said today results of the borings can be expected by about June 1.

From the Newport Daily News, March 9, 1964

An attempt to burn the abandoned former Conanicut Yacht Club building south of the ferry landing in Jamestown Sunday afternoon failed when the fire was discovered and the flames extinguished after burning six feet of the pier.

25 years ago From the Newport Daily News,

March 1, 1989

Jamestowners will get their own token lane. In January 1988, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority completed construction of a new $1.82 million plaza. The project added seven lanes to the old five-lane plaza.

The Coast Guard will discontinue use of the Brenton Reef Light Tower, replacing it with a variety of navigational aids. From the Newport Daily News,

March 7, 1989

With only a few dissenters, Jamestown voters passed a $6.48 million 1989-90 budget Monday evening at the annual financial town meeting. The meeting attracted 385 voters, the largest turnout since 150 voters showed up in 1984.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

March 4, 1999

At the annual financial town meeting Monday, it took 48 minutes to approve a $11.66 million budget for fiscal 1999-2000 and raise the tax rate from $15.13 to $15.63 for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

An independent national survey agency recently released a document that ranks the country’s top libraries. While it did not make the top 20, the Jamestown Philomenian Library was named the third best in the state of Rhode Island.

10 years ago

From the Jamestown Press,

March 4, 2004

The annual financial town meeting Monday evening drew 224 voters who made 18 nearly unanimous voice votes to adopt the special 16-month budget, as amended to give the town’s volunteer Fire Department the additional $39,269 it requested. A total of 4,343 residents were eligible to vote.

The fate of the old Jamestown Bridge, once destined for demolition, has been put on hold since the state Department of Transportation has been instructed last week to look into the feasibility of re-using the span as either a park or a bike path.

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