2017-09-14 / Island History


A concrete pouring has brought one of the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge’s two main piers to a visible height of 7.5 feet above sea level, The Jamestown Press reported Sept. 14, 1989.

Contractors used 720 cubic yards of concrete to bring the pier above water. Until now, all work has been done below the sea level, as far down as 50 feet. The new span will replace the truss bridge that has stood since 1940.

100 years ago — Sept. 17, 1917 (Newport Daily News)

At a meeting at town hall, plans were made for an elaborate send off to the men leaving for Camp Devens in Ayer, Mass.

The plans include a Sunday dinner at the Gardner House followed by entertainment at Central Baptist Church. Dancing will follow at St. Mark’s guild house with music by the Fort Wetherill orchestra. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union also will provide the men with comfort bags of items for when they’re away.

On Tuesday, a parade will form at town hall, marching toward West Ferry, where the men will leave on the ferry for Bristol.

75 years ago — Sept. 14, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

B.E. Hutchinson, a Chrysler Corp. financial analyst from Detroit, is negotiating with Dr. Walter Wickes to buy Harbor Entrance, the 11-acre Dumplings estate built 50 years ago for Philadelphia retailer Isaac Clothier. The summer cottage, which overlooks the bay, was designed by Charles Bevins.

50 years ago — Sept. 14, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

An armed man traveling to town via ferry was detained at the wharf after passengers on the same boat reported seeing a gun. The suspect, however, was set free when police realized he was a narcotics inspector with the state.

The suspicious man was tossing trash overboard when wind blew open his jacket, revealing a holstered revolver to the nervous passengers. As the ferryboat approached the docks, the crew sounded four blasts of the horn, which summons authorities to the ferry landing. Police Chief Frederick Smyth released the man following a brief search.

25 years ago — Sept. 17, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

Frances Hopkins Shocket, city manager of a Cincinnati suburb, will leave her Midwestern post to replace Robert Sutton as the second chief executive in town history.

Shocket, who has a master’s degree in public administration from Xavier University, unanimously was appointed by the town councilors.

Her base salary is $50,280. Shocket comes to town from North College Hill, a city with 11,000 residents and 60 municipal employees.

10 years ago — Sept. 20, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

In a resounding victory for conservationists, 402 voters unanimously approved a plan to purchase the development rights of 145 acres of historic farmland.

The $9.75 million measure was spearheaded by the Conanicut Island Land Trust. The plan combines federal, state, local and private money to acquire rights from the Dutra and Neale farms off North Road. Taxpayers in town are responsible for $2.1 million.

According to the terms, nearly 83 percent of the land must be preserved in perpetuity for pastures. The remaining 24 acres are reserved for farmsteads and outbuildings.

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