2014-10-23 / Island History

This Week In Island History

Week of October 23
Compiled by Sue Maden

The news of 10 and 15 years ago is from the Jamestown Press. The news of 100 years ago came from the collection of the Newport Historical Society.

100 years ago

From the Newport Journal, Oct. 23, 1914

With two tickets in the field for next month’s election, the politicians are busy putting their fences in order and a close contest is looked for.

Steamer Beaver Tail, after having a thorough overhauling and replacing a broken shaft at the repair shops in Newport, was put in the east bay line Thursday afternoon, after replacing the Narragansett, which has been filling in after the burning of the Conanicut a month ago. The Narragansett was taken around the island to be laid up at the slip on the west side.

75 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 21, 1939

The Jamestown Bridge Commission is looking toward the state to build highways across Eldred Avenue, and from the Middletown shore to West Main, to accommodate through traffic to the Jamestown Bridge when it opens next June.

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 25, 1939

News was received Tuesday by the committee of the Rod and Gun Club that Ernest Vieira of Douglas Street has been appointed game warden, No. 2, in Jamestown.

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 26, 1939

The school superintendent reported that there were fewer pupils out with mumps this week, and that the attendance last week was poor.

50 years ago

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 20, 1964

The New England Telephone Company will sponsor a Jamestown town meeting tomorrow night to give information and answer questions on the dial telephone system that will go into effect Nov. 1. Jamestown is the last of the Newport County towns to have dial telephones.

From the Newport Daily News, Oct. 22, 1964

Governor Chafee told some 400 Navy men gathered at the chief petty officers club yesterday that the number of ferries operating between Newport and Jamestown will have to be increased if the Newport Bay Bridge does not materialize.

A large and inquiring audience last night heard representatives of the telephone company explain the new local and direct distance dial service which will become effective on Nov. 1 for telephone subscribers in the Jamestown area. The new exchange, located on Watson and Pemberton avenues, was built at a cost of $400,000. Eight-party lines will be changed to four-party lines.

25 years ago

From the Jamestown Press, Oct. 19, 1989

Town Council members voted last week to meet with the state Department of Transportation to discuss the town’s Supreme Court appeal of a wetlands permit for the cross-island connector road.

A motion to buy the lot immediately west of the fire station was unanimously approved by the Town Council at its last regular meeting. A negotiating committee earlier had agreed to buy the lot, which has been targeted as a site for a new ambulance barn, from the owner, Michael Muksian. For a $500 down payment, Muksian agreed to give the town first option to buy the lot for $230,000 until Dec. 4.

15 years ago

From the Jamestown Press, Oct. 21, 1999

For three hours last Thursday evening the director of the state Department of Transportation took one negative comment after another on his idea to preserve the old Jamestown Bridge as a bicycle and pedestrian path.

Three months after its first meeting with a small but concerned group over improvements to downtown Narragansett Avenue, streetscape designer Randy Collins of Gates, Leighton & Associates returned to Jamestown Tuesday evening with a preliminary design. With less than 30 residents attending, turnout was meager. But small only in numbers, the group enthusiastically embraced the authority vested in them by the designer and the planning office for deciding the new look for downtown Jamestown as it heads into the next millennium. Collins said, however, that the loudest message he got from islanders at the initial meeting was a desire to bury the overhead utilities. To this end, he has given the utility companies streetscape maps of the area and asked them to give him a cost estimate for laying the utility conduits at the same time as the improvement project rolls on.

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