2018-07-19 / Island History


The festival of tall ships on Narragansett Bay was an economic boon for the commercial district,

The Jamestown Press reported July 22, 2004.

Trattoria Simpatico sold out of lobster rolls and hamburgers from its tent on the East Ferry green and Rena Tyson, owner of R&R Gallery, said she had her best weekend in 10 years. Both package stores, Page’s Liquors and Grapes & Gourmet, also reported boosted sales from the sailboats.

100 years ago — July 20, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

Windows rattled, doors shook and Red Cross trucks mobilized following an experimental charge of high explosives by the U.S. Navy at Taylor Point. The underwater explosion resulted in dozens of stunned fish rising to the ocean surface. Because communities along the coast were not privy to the exercise, swimmers as far away as Narragansett Pier were told to retreat from the water.

75 years ago — July 23, 1943 (Newport Mercury)

An errant torpedo built at the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station washed ashore at Alexander Kerr’s home on East Shore Road. Naval authorities were notified by town firefighters and arrangements were made for sailors to secure the projectile, which was being used in a practice run at the time of the accident. Coincidentally, Kerr is a master mechanic at the torpedo station.

50 years ago — July 25, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

Police are investigating the

waterfront theft of a lobster pot that was drying on the West Ferry dock. The pot, which was reported stolen by its owner, Howard V. Leonard Jr., of Narragansett Avenue, is valued at $10.

25 years ago — July 22, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

The biggest real estate transaction in town history is in the books. Norton H. Reamer, a Boston investor, purchased 84 acres at 435 Beavertail Road for $2.65 million. The property, located near Short Point on Hull Cove, was sold by the Wright family, which had owned the lot since 1941. The transaction surpasses the

$1.6 million paid by the town for the golf course in 1987.

10 years ago — July 24, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

Police Chief Tom Tighe has re-established foot patrols in the village to form a connection between police and shopkeepers.

Officers working day shifts will be required to patrol Narragansett Avenue and East Ferry for an hour. Tighe expects them to enter businesses, introduce themselves and build relationships.

“This isn’t just for the shop owners,” Tighe said. “Whenever officers are seen on the street, people should feel free to talk to them and ask questions.”

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