A Policeman Shot – 1884

     From the Daily Kennebec Journal, (Augusta, Maine), April 23, 1884.  The shooting occurred on April 22, 1884.  The suspect was convicted. 


From The Sun, (NY), April 23, 1884 

Rhode Island Liquor Law – 1887

From The Austin Weekly Statesman (Austin, Texas), July 28, 1887.

Click on image to enlarge.

     To learn more about Rhode Island’s liquor law history, click here: Rhode Island’s First State Police

50 Years Ago – May, 1971

50 years Ago – May, 1971

By Jim Ignasher

April, 1971

     Tec. Sergeant Kenneth E. Bessette of Esmond was serving in the U. S. Air Force at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

     Second Lieutenant James L. DeStout was serving as a pilot with the U. S. Air Force.

     The Georgiaville Baptist Church held its annual candlelight memorial mass for all deceased war veterans of Smithfield.

     Roy Andrews of Stillwater was installed as the Exalted Ruler of the Smithfield Elks Lodge No. 2359.

     On May 8, NASA launched its Martian probe, Mariner 8. Its mission was to orbit and photograph the planet Mars, but five minutes after the launch a malfunction prevented it from achieving earth orbit. Two days later the Soviet Union launched a Mars probe of its own, and it too failed. Later in the month both countries launched second probes aimed at Mars. Both successfully reached the red planet, but the Russian probe crashed on its surface. This was the first time in history man-made objects had gone to another planet.

     A flowering cherry tree was donated to the Greenville Grange by the members of the Apple Blossom Garden Club. The tree was placed on the grounds of the grange as part of a beautification program. Members of Girl Scout troops 101 and 882 assisted with the planting.

     The historic grange hall stood on Austin Avenue just in from Putnam Pike. Unfortunately, both the building and the tree are no longer standing.

     On May 9, the tenth annual Apple Blossom Queen Pageant was held at the Smithfield High School. The event was sponsored by the Rhode Island Fruit Growers Association, and the Rhode Island State Grange Agriculture Commission.

     Local young ladies who participated included Debby Dupointe, Ellyn Thurber, Betty Dolbey, Bonnilyn Dobson, Cheryl Place, Janet Hill, and Janice Hill.

     The winner was Linda Bertrand of Newport.

     A controversy arose when a local businessman petitioned the town to approve the operation of an outdoor flea market next to the Apple Valley Mall. The Town Council met on May 28, and numerous residents came to protest the plan. Some objected to the types of goods that could be sold, others spoke of unsold goods and trash being left behind, while others claimed property values would be lowered, and traffic in the area would increase. The Council denied the plan.

     If one went to the movies in May of ’71, they might have seen “Support Your Local Gunfighter”, a comedy starring James Garner who is mistaken for a notorious gunslinger in an old-west mining town. Two competing factions try to hire him to drive the other out of town. And thus the hi-jinx began.

     Another popular move that month was “Escape from the Planet of the Apes”, a prequel to the 1968 movie, “Planet of the Apes.”

     On May 16, the price of mailing a letter in the U. S. rose from six to eight cents.

     Voters at the annual Town Financial Meeting approved funding for a new police station. Up until this point the police station had been located in the Town Hall, and the department had outgrown the space.

     Charles Sandner of Greenville was presented an award for his service as Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 43 of Greenville. He had been associated with scouting since 1954, and Cubmaster since 1966. Pack 43 was sponsored by the Greenville Baptist Church.

     On May 22 the Smithfield Police held its annual policeman’s ball at the St. Michael’s Church parish hall. More than 300 people attended.

     On May 28 the Rhode Island Heart Association sponsored a “balloon dance” for 7th and 8th grade students which was held at the Greenville Grange Hall. Radio personality Joe Thomas of WPRO served as master of ceremonies and DJ.


50 Years Ago – April, 1971

50 years Ago – April, 1971

By Jim Ignasher

     Army Sergeant Allen Uttley of Greenville came home after completing his tour of duty in Korea.

     Airman Barry S. Black of Esmond completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, and was slated for further training as a communications and electronics systems specialist.

     T/Sgt. Kenneth E. Bessette of Esmond received his third Air Force Commendation Medal. He was serving at Travis Air Force Base in California.

    Airman George H. Jaswell completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, and was slated for further training as an Aircraft Equipment Maintenance Specialist.

     Navy Petty Officer 2/c James R. Hall of Esmond was serving aboard the U.S.S. Truxtum.

     Navy Perry Officer 3/c Lloyd Courtemanche of Greenville was serving aboard the U.S.S. LaSalle.

     Second Lieutenant Michael D. Grace of the Rhode Island Air National Guard was awarded his pilot wings at Williams Air Force base in Arizona.

     Marine Corporal Michael C. Dodge of Douglas Pike was serving in the 2nd Marine Air Wing at Cherry point, North Carolina.

    Ladies of the Emblem Club held a special meeting which was attended by Rose Centofanli, Mary Hill, Helen Mowry, Beverly Moreau, Mildred Campbell, Mary Shaw, Genevieve Caloura, Mildren Johnson, Fran Kohler, Doris Torti, Lydia bell, Stella Kernacki, Evelyn Newman, Doreen Collins, and Mary Schiffman, the club president.

     The former Scuncio Chevrolet car dealership, once located on Rt. 44 where Stop & Shop is today, was offering a choice of a free football, soccer ball, or basketball, with every major engine tune-up.

     Miss Lee Wilkinson of Limerock Road won first place in the Rhode Island Music teachers Association Annual Piano and Voice Auditions held at Rhode Island College.

     Fifteen members of the Smithfield Police Department completed a five week special training course. Their names were listed in a local newspaper, but only their first initials were given. A. Thibodeault, R. Leveille, K. Brown, J. Lester Tobion, N. Jordan, D. Ciotola, F. Davis, J. Goff, D. Goff, W. Williams, Jr., R. Eberts, F. Peters, W. Morgan, R. Landry, and M. Ciotola.

     On April 14 the Apple Blossom Club installed new officers at a function held at the Club 44 on Putnam Pike. Betty Paily was elected president; Carmel Lancia, vice president; Anne Baglini, corresponding secretary; Judy Lawton, recording secretary; Anne Allen, treasurer.

     If one went to the movies in April of 1971 they might have seen “Bananas”, a comedy directed by and starring Woody Allen who while trying to impress a his ex-girlfriend (played by Louise Laser) travels to South America and gets involved in a revolution in the mythical country of San Marcos.

     Another popular film was “Valdez is Coming”, a western drama starring Burt Lancaster, who attempts to seek compensation for the wrongful death of a wrongly accused man and his wife.

     On April 15, Captain Nelson French and Private Wayne Brown of the Gerogiaville Volunteer Fire Department were guest speakers at the Smithfield Boy Scout Troop 1monthly meeting. The pair lectured on Fire Safety and prevention.

     Advertisements appeared asking voters to approve a new police station at the May 8th town financial meeting. In April of 1971, the police station was still located at the town hall.

     On April 29 the Smithfield Music Association sponsored a Jazz and woodwind concert featuring the group “Rhapsody in Blue”, and the University of Rhode Island Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

     The historic Amy Arnold House located on Putnam Pike in Greenville Center was demolished to make way for modern construction. The home had stood in the area of 600 Putnam Pike next to the Dr. Eddy House which is still standing.

     Top songs for the month of April, ’71, included “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye, “Put Your Hand in the Hand” by Ocean, and “never Can Say Goodbye” by the Jackson Five.


Elephant Shot In Chepachet – 1826

This incident happened on May 25, 1826. 

 Click on images to enlarge. 

Phenix Gazette, (Alexandria, VA)
June 10, 1826

Phenix Gazette
(Alexandria, VA)
June 10, 1826

American Watchman & Delaware Advertiser
June 16, 1826

Door War Kidnapping Article – 1842

     The men mentioned in this article traveled through Smithfield as they made their way to Chepachet, and then again as the were brought to Woonsocket.  

Click on image to enlarge.

Jefferson Republican
June 29, 1842

Steamboat Rhode Island

     The steamboat Rhode Island was built in 1836 and sank in 1850.  In 1873, the Providence & Stonington Steamship Company christened another steamship with the name Rhode Island which saw service into the 20th century.  

Click on images to enlarge. 

Herald of the Times

September 1, 1836

Alexandria Gazette

September 26, 1836

Herald of the Times

(Newport, R.I.)

September 29, 1836

Alexandria Gazette

October 6, 1836

North Carolina Standard

November 24, 1836

Vermont Telegraph

April 29, 1840

New York Daily Tribune

August 19, 1844

American Republican & Baltimore Daily Clipper

Oct. 31, 1846

American Republican & Baltimore Daily Clipper

November 4, 1846

The Corrector (Sag Harbor, NY)

February 16, 1850

The Republic, (Wash. DC)

Feb. 19, 1850

February 19, 1850

February 19, 1850

February 19, 1950

Hurricane of 1869

The Evening Telegraph
(Philadelphia, PA.)
Sept. 10, 1869

Lime Rock Fatal Accident – 1828

     Prior to 1871, Lime Rock was part of the town of Smithfield, R. I. 

Click on article to enlarge.

Litchfield County Post (Conn.)

October 23, 1828

Historic Tree Cut Down – 1890

Click on article to enlarge. 

The Republican, (Oakland, MD.)

September 12, 1890

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