2017-08-24 / Island History


The town councilors gave a unanimous thumbs-up to a request from the filmmakers of “Rum Runner” to turn Fort Wetherill into a temporary movie set, The Jamestown Press reported Aug. 28, 1997.

According to screenwriter Paul Madden, the movie is about the infamous shootout between the U.S. Coast Guard and the rum runner Black Duck that took place in 1929 on the foggy waters of Narragansett Bay. Madden plans to turn the Fort Wetherill boat basin into a Prohibition-era fishing village with a speakeasy.

100 years ago — Aug. 24, 1917 (Newport Daily News)

There was considerable excitement stirred on Grinnell Street when a horse from Tollefson & Dewick’s fish market became frightened after being struck upon the legs and broke free. The horse rounded the corner from Douglas Place onto Grinnell, tipped the wagon he was pulling over and tossed the driver out.

The wagon top was badly damaged and the driver shaken up but not injured severely.

75 years ago — Aug. 24, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

A report from Newport County’s civilian defense indicated auxiliary policemen and firefighters in town will receive helmets and armbands from the federal government.

The council also warned against collecting enemy souvenirs. If an air raids occurs, grounded planes, weapons, projectiles and fragments should be guarded, not touched.

50 years ago — Aug. 24, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

A 10-horsepower motor, a gasoline tank and 50 lobsters were stolen from a boat moored north of the ferry slip on the east side of town. The boat is owned Edmund Vieria, 19 Briar Ave.

Police also are investigation an attempted robbery on Bayview Drive. According to Charles Cremer, an engineer with the firm working on the Newport Bridge, a trespasser forced open a door on the construction site. Nothing was reported missing.

25 years ago — Aug. 27, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

Kathy Brownell won the judges’ award at the 15th annual Fools’ Rules Regatta aboard her “Damsels in Distress” boat, which featured six women in medieval costumes wailing “Help!” as they sailed downwind in the East Ferry harbor.

The most ingenious design was awarded to Jeffrey D’Amico’s “Ark,” which featured cardboard cutouts of skunks, giraffes, buffalo and rabbits. His crew wore Biblical costumes. The worst example of naval architecture among the 33 entries was “Tubes,” skippered by Grace Eileen Jackson and Ken Clark.

10 years ago — Aug. 30, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

The town was given the go-ahead to put the highway barn at Taylor Point to replace the dilapidated structure at Fort Wetherill. Voters approved the measure with 55 percent of the vote, 934-753.

The question has lingered through David Long’s entire eight-year tenure as council president.

“It’s been a heated debate,” he said. “I’m just happy for the town.”

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