2018-03-08 / Island History


While cutting brush at Beavertail State Park for tick prevention, workers uncovered a World War II defense called Battery Whiting, The Jamestown Press reported March 11, 2004.

The battery was built as part of Fort Burnside in 1942. According to military historian Walter Schroder, it was used to keep an eye on the minefield that was in the East Passage of the bay during the war against Nazi Germany. The battery was originally built at Fort Getty, he said, but the guns were relocated to Beavertail.

100 years ago — March 8, 1918 (Newport Mercury)

Sometime during the winter, the residence of Admiral T.O. Selfridge on the Dumplings was entered. Many articles were taken from the property, including a cord of oak wood from the yard.

75 years ago — March 10, 1943 (Newport Daily News)

The town’s civilian defense council conducted its second mobilization since new regulations were put into effect for air raids. In the drill, a second red signal was given following the second blue, denoting that hostile planes had returned to the attack.

Traffic, which had stopped on the first red signal, did not seem to pay much attention to the second red. Vehicles started moving, but wardens soon straightened out the misunderstanding. A third blue signal following the second red, and about 10 minutes later, the drill was declared done.

50 years ago — March 8, 1968 (Newport Daily News)

A front window in the Union Street home of Miss Lucy Pinto was smashed by stones. She told police the stones also destroyed a bamboo shade. She set the loss at $60. Pinto said she saw several children running away from the house.

25 years ago — March 11, 1993 (The Jamestown Press)

The owner of a black Labrador puppy is convinced that his dog was stolen, leading to speculation by the Humane Society of the United States that kidnappers might be responsible.

The incident happened one month after a 9-year-old springer spaniel was taken from the parking lot at Baker’s Pharmacy. That pet owner said his dog was pinched by a man driving a blue truck.

According to the society, pets are taken for their resale value. They also are bred in a “puppy mills,” sold for medical research and used for hunting purposes.

10 years ago — March 13, 2008 (The Jamestown Press)

The former town offices at 44 Southwest Ave. have been appraised at $540,000, which is a dramatic uptick from the assessment by a nonprofit organization that wants to retrofit the property for affordable housing.

After the Church Community Housing Corporation offered $425,000 for the lot, town administration hired an appraiser to corroborate that number. The firm, however, reported a price that was 20 percent higher.

Bruce Keiser, town administrator, said he will discuss the price gap with the Newport nonprofit. He also will work with the Narragansett Indians to schedule an archeological study.

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