2018-02-01 / Island History

ISLAND HISTORY

All three churches in town have expanded their hours to keep vigil during the Persian Gulf War, The Jamestown Press reported Feb. 7, 1991.

A newly formed ecumenical council arranged the open doors. It is for residents who would like to gather on a regular basis for mutual support and consolation. During regular Sunday services, all three clergy will offer special prayers of peace for local soldiers serving in the Gulf.

100 years ago — Feb. 1, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

Newport County paid another toll of war after an explosion killed 12 men in a bomb-proof compartment at the Naval Torpedo Station on Goat Island. Only one victim was on duty in uniform, although all were essential in the fight against Prussian militarism.

While more than 100 men from town are employed at the station, only one worked in the department where the explosion took place. John J. Walsh escaped unharmed.

75 years ago — Feb. 5, 1943 (Newport Mercury)

Although ferry service could cease at any time, the steamer Beavertail currently is able to cross the bay because the westerly wind is keeping the ice packed on the Newport side. The ferry landed at Long Wharf and brought a boatload of townspeople back to Jamestown who had been marooned in Newport.

50 years ago — Feb. 7, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

A bill to open quahog beds in the upper West Passage to mechanical dredging was killed yesterday in the state Senate.

Proponents argued quahogs in deep water above the Jamestown Bridge are beyond reach of hand tongers, which makes the clams grow too large and rot. The result is an inexcusable waste of food and an economic loss for the industry, they said.

Opponents said mechanical dredgers already have depleted the quahog grounds on the east side of Jamestown. Also, the livelihood of 533 licensed fishermen with hand tongers, compared to a handful of dredgers, would be endangered, they argued.

The vote was 24-8 against passage, with members of both parties on each side.

25 years ago — Feb. 4, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

Ruptured batteries found by a diver on the ocean floor off Beavertail are from the demolition of the Brenton Reef tower, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Save The Bay inquired about the batteries because they are filled with toxic chemicals that pose a health risk to marine life. The Coast Guard said only 10 of the 40 batteries recovered were broken. Also, lab analysis of sediment from the ocean floor found no trace of mercury contamination.

10 years ago — Feb. 7, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

Football fans will be able to meet the new owner of the Narragansett Cafe during a free buffet for Super Bowl Sunday.

John Recca, of Huntington, N.Y., bought the village landmark from Danny Alexander after 20 years of ownership. Recca previously worked in the New York City financial district.

“I’m a little too young to retire,” Recca, 48, said. “The cafe is my second career.”

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