ISLAND HISTORY


If Dr. Joe England gets his way, Jamestown will have its own marching band to perform at the Memorial Day parade, The Jamestown Press reported Feb. 4, 1993.

The idea came when England was watching the 1992 parade near Baker’s Pharmacy and a truck passed by with speakers blasting music.

“There’s got to be at least 10 people in town who could play music and march at the same time,” he said.

100 years ago — Feb. 3, 1923
(Newport Mercury)

Sheriff James Anthony has reappointed Frank King as deputy sheriff of Newport County for a three-year term.

75 years ago — Feb. 6, 1948
(Newport Mercury)

Jamestown’s second fire in a week from a flooded oil stove caused damage estimated at more than $1,000 to a cottage on Cole Street owned by Ella Netter Antone. The house has been unoccupied but was being renovated prior to renting.

The fire started in a bedroom on the second floor where an oil heater had been lit. The room and its contents were destroyed, and extensive damage to the other rooms was caused by smoke and water.

50 years ago — Feb. 2, 1973
(Newport Mercury)

The Rev. J. Edgar Tebbetts, rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church for 13 years, has announced his retirement from the ministry because of his health.

The 62-year-old clergyman told parishioners that under normal circumstances he would retire at the age of 65. On the advice of his doctor, however, it was better for him to retire now from the active ministry.

“A growing parish needs vigor that I can no longer afford to give,” he said.

The retirement by Tebbetts, who arrived in Jamestown from a Warwick parish in March 1960, will be effective April 30. He and his wife, Lee, who teaches art in the local elementary school, will move to Dunedin, Fla.

Since Tebbets came to St. Matthew’s, the total number of parishioners has grown from 451 to 600 under his supervision, and the parish’s budget increased from $13,500 to $34,639.

25 years ago — Feb. 5, 1998
(The Jamestown Press)

Following the elimination of tolls on the Mount Hope Bridge, state legislators are proposing further relief for frequent motorists on the Pell span.

Teresa Paiva Weed, who represents Jamestown and Newport in the Rhode Island Senate, has introduced legislation to ease the cost of commuting between Aquidneck and Conanicut islands. Her bill would reduce a roll of tokens from $10 to $8. The cost for a one-time passage of the bridge would be increased from $2 to $3 to offset that reduction, which would put a bigger burden on tourists rather than commuters.

Aside from legislative action, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority also has the power to reduce the price of tokens.

“The goal is to achieve a reduction in the token price,” Paiva Weed said. “It doesn’t matter who makes the decision as long as the goal is achieved.”

10 years ago — Feb. 7, 2013
(The Jamestown Press)

Due to structural concerns, the second floor of the Jamestown Golf Course has been closed to the public permanently.

The building has been used in the summer for exercise classes and theater rehearsals. The downstairs pub and clubhouse will stay open seasonally. The town is obligated to provide the golf course with a clubhouse under the terms of the lease, which does not expire until December 2016.

Fire marshal Howie Tighe said there were five safety measures, including the removal of lawn mowers from the basement of the clubhouse, that must be corrected before the building can open in April. That only would provide a temporary solution, however. Tighe recommended for the building to be demolished on a schedule and not to allow the situation “to go on forever.”