50 Years Ago – October, 1965

Originally Published in the Smithfield Times – October, 2015

By Jim Ignasher

Autumn is harvest season, and a bushel basket containing samples of apples picked from local orchards was presented to then Governor John Chafee during National Apple Week. (National Apple Week was established in 1904 by the U.S. Apple Association. In 1996, it was expanded to include the entire month of October. )

On hand at the presentation were Fred Lees, Howard King, Edgar Steere, Stephen Steere, Roland Swallow, John Wiggins, Mrs. Pulford, and her daughter Marilyn, who was the reigning R.I. Apple Blossom Queen.

The annual Farnum Heights Bike Race was held in Georgiaville, sponsored by the Farnum Plat Association.  The race began at the corner of Old County Road and Lakeside Drive and meandered through the side streets. Youthful participants were divided into classes based on age and the size of their bicycles, and winners were awarded prizes.

Esmond Girl Scout Troop 894 camped out overnight at the Smithfield Sportsman’s Club during the Columbus Day weekend.  The young ladies earned merit badges for learning “refractor baking” on makeshift tin foil convection “ovens”.  The outing was supervised by Mrs. Joan Sweeney, Mrs. Phyllis Parsakian, and troop leader Mrs. Marjorie Demaine.

Seventeen boy scouts from Troop 4 in Greenville attended the Twin Valley Camporee held at Camp Yawgoog from October 15-17.   The troop earned a certificate of award for cross country hiking. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Bancroft of Esmond received a “thank you” note from then President Johnson for writing and sending a poem to the White House titled “Supplication For Peace”.  

The Catholic Diocese of Providence honored Esmond resident Joseph A. Picard of St. Michael’s Parish with an outstanding achievement award for “outstanding leadership in helping foster a 4-point Catholic Youth Organization program.” 

The Cranford Club celebrated sixty years as an organization by baking a massive cake and sharing it with the residents of Zambarano Hospital in Burrillville.  (The Cranford Club was a Smithfield women’s service organization.  Their many charitable works included volunteering at the hospital.)   

The Smithfield Junior Women’s Club cancelled a wine tasting program scheduled for October 11 at the Greenville Baptist Church, and held a Tupperware Party instead.   

On October 13, the Apple Blossom Garden Club held its regular meeting at the Greenville Baptist Church.  Mrs. Feinberg, the guest speaker, talked about horticulture.  

The Northern R.I. Mothers of Twins Club held their meeting in the church on October 21.

The (Smithfield) Township Preservation & Development Council launched the “Smithfield Anti-Litter Campaign” with the goal of cleaning up copious amounts of trash that had accumulated along the town’s roadsides.  The first area designated for cleanup was the stretch of Route 44 between Cedar Swamp Road and Greenville Center.  The task was accomplished by numerous volunteers, among them were members of boy scout troops 1, 2, and 4, as well as members of several 4H Clubs.  

Construction on the Waterman Heights Nursing Home on Putnam Pike was completed, and on October 24th the public was invited to attend an open house to inspect the building.  The home was built on the site of a former apple orchard.

The Director was Mrs. Marian Stewart of Greenville, a former army nurse who served in WWII.

Local auto dealerships advertised that the new 1966 models were in.  The latest Studebaker’s were equipped with an improved ventilation system which allowed fresh air to move freely through the car while it was in motion.  (This was a selling point in the days before standard AC in autos.)

A Pontiac dealer’s ad referring to the newly styled Tempest read: “Dramatically fresh and new; but still very, very, Pontiac.” 

A Masquerade Ball, sponsored by the St. Aloysius Saint Peters Club, was held October 30th at the Dillon Council Knights of Columbus hall in North Providence.  Also on that night, the Smithfield Recreation Association held its annual Halloween Party in the (former) recreation hall on Esmond Street.

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