2017-07-27 / Island History


Townspeople are mourning the death of Bay Street resident Suzanne Marsh, 31, who died in a plane crash in Iowa, The Jamestown Press reported July 28, 1989.

Marsh’s daughter, Lauren, 6, is in serious condition at a Sioux City hospital but is expected to recover. Also killed in the United Airlines Flight 232 crash was Marsh’s mother, Gwyneth Gibson, 61, of North Kingstown.

100 years ago — Aug. 1, 1917 (Newport Daily News)

At a well-attended meeting at Maplewood of the Jamestown Historical Society, a paper on the six oldest houses on the island was read. The paper will be put into book form and sold, with the proceeds benefitting the society.

Also discussed were ways to restore the windmill and replace its missing parts so it could once again be used for grinding. A committee was appointed to look into this possibility.

75 years ago — July 31, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

Francis West’s “Struggle” was voted the most popular painting during the 30th annual exhibit at the Newport Art Museum.

The painting portrays American eagles flying above a Russian bear, English lion and Chinese serpent. Painted to symbolize a victory by the United Nations, the figures beneath the eagle represent the defeated Axis countries.

50 years ago — July 29, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

Police are investigating two broken windows at businesses downtown that were vandalized in the early morning.

A 6-by-6-foot plate-glass window was smashed at Central Garage on Narragansett Avenue and police also discovered a 4-inch-hole in the window of Mike’s Barber Shop on Conanicus Avenue. Nothing was stolen from either store.

25 years ago — July 30, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

The town has endorsed a plan to build recreation fields on 8 acres of land at the intersection of Eldred Avenue and East Shore Road. The measure now heads to the Department of Transportation for approval.

Before shovels break ground, the town needs to secure the title for the federally owned land. As part of the negotiations for the proposed connector highway, the state agreed to work with the feds on the transfer.

The plan calls for a 2-acre baseball diamond, a 1.5-acre soccer field and a parking lot for 35 cars. There also would be walking trails around the edge, picnic tables and 40-foot buffers of forest on the eastern and northeastern boundaries.

10 years ago — Aug. 2, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

The net value of property has exceeded $2 billion for the first time in the town’s history.

To reach the $2,005,799,230 figure, appraisers counted 3,335 parcels, totaling 9.7 square miles. Those 6,208 acres do not include tax-free municipal, church and charitable properties.

The lion’s share of the tax roll is from single-family homes. There were 2,473 listings worth $1.7 billion, including Norton Reamer’s Beavertail home, valued at $8.5 million, the highest figure in town. The most prolific property holder is the Conanicut Island Land Trust, which owns 84.5 acres of residential land in town.

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