50 Years Ago – June, 1972

     On June 4, members of Cub Scout Pack 3 of Greenville, sponsored by St. Philip’s Church, held a picnic at Waterman Lake. Cub scouts Christopher Manocchia and Thomas Phillips won the fly fishing derby.

     In Smithfield police news, a ground breaking ceremony was held to begin construction of the town’s new police station. Officials present included Senator Claiborne Pell, Chief Arthur Gould, Deputy Chief James McVey, S. Burton and Mary Mowry who donated the land, Town Council President Allan Schwartz, Councilman John Emin, and Building Committee Chairman Orlando Spinella.

    The department held a training school open to all Smithfield officers, as well as officers from Glocester and members of the Bryant College Security Patrol. Each attendee received a certificate at completion.

     Officers Robert LaChapelle and Saverio E. Serapiglia were promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Sgt. Serapiglia was also named to the newly created position of Inspector, and put in charge of the department’s detective division.

     Wayne Saco was appointed a probationary officer to the department.

     State officials warned residents living along Slack’s Pond that a bacterial disease that could be passed to humans was killing off fish. It was advised that any dead fish along the shoreline should be removed using shovels or rakes, and not be handled with bare hands.

     Gloria Thomas, Barbara Stamp, Cynthia Martone, and Sally Butterfield, of the Apple Valley Junior Women’s Club, planted shrubbery around the Greenville Grange Hall.

     On June 11 the Georgiaville Fire Company held a firemen’s memorial ceremony honoring deceased members.

     Beverly Dobson was presented with an award by the Smithfield Jaycees. The award recognized any Smithfield resident who’d provided an outstanding service to the community. Beverly was honored for her dedication and hard work with the Smithfield Historical Society.

     A local car dealership advertised a 1964 Ford thunderbird convertible for a mere $595. A quick check of the Internet indicates that the same car today, depending on condition, is selling between thirty and forty thousand dollars.

     The Hearthside Ladies Bowling League held a banquet at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston, and over 500 people attended.

     If one went to the Apple Valley Cinema they may have seen “The French Connection”, the story of two NYPD detectives tracking an international drug ring; or “Skyjacked”, a move about a hijacked airliner. Or perhaps “Klute” a crime thriller involving a prostitute and a police detective, and “The Last Picture Show”, a coming of age movie set in the 1950s.

     High School Junior Ellen Provonsil was crowned Smithfield Junior Prom Queen by class president Jim Lawson. Members of the queen’s court included Karen Henriksen, Susan Winsor, Brenda Cardente, Kathy Marzilli, Sharon McDermott, and Debra Cerroni.

     Smithfield School Superintendent John K. Boyle was elected president of the Rhode Island Association of School Superintendents. He’d served as Superintendent since 1963.

     It was announced that an indoor tennis facility would be erected off Church Street in Greenville at an estimated cost of $250,000.

     Heidi Allen, Polly Parsakian, Kathy Arruda, and Kathy Abbatematteo, of the Smithfield High School Girls Relay Team won the Rhode Island Interscholastic Track Championship.

     Track team member June Bissel set a new state record for the high jump.

     A National “Smokey Bear Poster Contest” was held, and Maureen Gustafson, age 8, sponsored by the Apple Blossom Garden Club, won first prize. She was awarded a large Smokey Bear teddy bear.

     As a suggested Father’s Day gift, one local business was offering a portable transistor radio that could receive AM/FM transmissions, as well as police and weather broadcasts. Regularly $39.95, marked down to $24.95.

 

Vintage State Police/Highway Patrol Patches

     This page was created using vintage patches from the private collection.   Although not specific to Smithfield history, the information contained here is not readily available elsewhere.  It is therefore hoped that collectors, historians, and researchers, will find it helpful.

     This posting primarily shows obsolete/vintage patches worn by our nation’s state police, state patrol, and highway patrol agencies, and does not depict every style that each department has worn over the years. 

 

     Click on images to enlarge. 

Worn 1963 to 1972.

Worn 1963 to 1972.

Worn 1937 to 1969.

Worn 1969 to 1998.

Current Issue with rounded “A”s.

Worn 1957 to 1976.

Worn 1946 to 1999.

Connecticut State Police
1930s

Grey felt – worn 1940s.

Black felt – worn 1940s to 1968.

Blue felt – worn 1960s.

Blue felt – updated state seal.

Shirt patch, last worn in 1968.

Coat patch, last worn in 1968.
Earlier ones were made of felt.

State Police Civil Defense
circa 1950s – 1960s.

State Police Civil Defense
Circa 1950s – 1960s.

State Police Auxiliary Patch.

Auxiliary State Police

State shaped version made of cloth.
Worn 1968 to 1983.

State shaped patch – worn 1968 to 1983.
This one is made of heavy felt.

A possible prototype of the current issue patch. This one has a fully embroidered background, the current issue has blue felt. There are also blue stripes on the Connecticut banner at the top which are not on the current issue.

Current issue patch worn since 1983.

Motor Cycle Unit Patch.
Worn briefly in 1984.
Due to its rarity, reproductions have been made.

Reverse side of original motorcycle unit patch.

Early version of the current patch worn by the department. First worn in 1955.

Current issue felt patch.

Early version of the current issue patch. First worn in 1946.

Worn 1944 to 1979.

Idaho State Police
Round style.

Worn from 1954 to 1967.

Worn from 1967 to 1970.

Worn from 1970 to 1985.

Worn 1985 to 1988.

Worn 1935 to 1973.
Current issue reads: “State Patrol”.

Current Issue

Worn 1937 to 1970.
Current issue has a blue border.

A variation in the state seal.

Worn 1950s to 1968.

Worn 1936 to 1949.

Blue border, worn from 1965 to 1974.

Gold Border
Current Issue
Worn since 1974.

Massachusetts State Police
Worn from 1934 to 1937.

Early version of current issue.

Prototype of current issue supervisors patch – 1980s.

Current issue supervisors patch.

Massachusetts Auxiliary State Police patch.

Highway Patrol patch worn from 1953 to 1974. The current issue reads: “State Patrol”.

Worn from 1935 to 1953.

Early version of patch currently worn by the department. First worn in 1956.

Current issue patch.

Safety Patrol patch, last worn in 1967. The current issue patch reads: “State Patrol”.

“State Patrol” patch, current issue.
Worn since 1967.

Worn from 1957 to 1972.

First worn in 1972.

Issued in 1999 to celebrate fifty years of service.

Worn from 1941 to 1962.

Felt version of current issue. Worn from 1962 to 1979.

Cloth version of current issue. Worn 1962 to 1979.

Current Issue

Issued in 1997 celebrating sixty years of service.

Patch made of felt.
This style has been worn by the NJSP since 1929.

Early version of the current issue patch worn by the department. First worn in 1954. Note the upturned “Excelsior” banner.

Current issue.

Issued in 2000.

Worn from 1929 to 1953.

Worn 1953 to 1970.

First issued in 1951.

Last worn in 1963.

Felt version of the current issue patch.

Felt version of keystone shape, worn from 1959 to 1988.

Unknown information.

Worn 1930s to 1966.

Grey version of current issue patch. Current issue has a much darker background. This style had been worn since 1966.

Current Issue.

Issued in 2000, and only worn for one year.

Grey version.

Believed to date from the 1950 to 1960s.

No information.

Worn from 1953 to 1979.

Worn after 1979.

Worn from 1941 to 1972.

Worn from 1972 to 1976.

Worn from 1976 to present.

First worn in 1958, still worn in the 1980s.

Felt version of the Utah Highway Patrol patch.

Felt version of current patch, worn from 1947 to 1975.

Felt variation, worn from 1947 to 1975.

Current issue – fully embroidered.
Worn 1975 to present.

Issued in 1997.

Issued in 1994.

   Defunct State Highway Law Enforcement Agencies 

     Some states had other law enforcement agencies whose duties included (among other things.) patrolling state highways and enforcing motor vehicle traffic laws.  One such agency is the now defunct Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Police. 

     Like the Massachusetts State Police, the registry police had statewide jurisdiction to enforce traffic laws, investigate traffic accidents, inspect commercial vehicles, and additionally oversee license testing.  The agency was absorbed by the Massachusetts State Police in 1992, and no longer exists.  

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle Police

Early Issue Massachusetts Registry Police Patch.

Early Black Felt Version.

2nd Issue Blue Felt Version

2nd Issue, Black Felt Version.

Last Issue prior to merging with the state police.

New York State Parkway Commission Police

     The New York State Parkway Police were established in 1946 as the Long Island State Park Police.  Their primary function was to patrol Long Island’s state parks and parkways/highways.  Duties included enforcing traffic laws, commercial vehicle inspection, and accident investigation.  The agencies first patch was a black felt triangle.  At some point between 1946 and 1950, the agency adopted a shield shaped patch with the word “commission” added.  In 1950 the department changed its name to the New York State Parkway Police.  The agency went defunct in 1980, and the New York State Police assumed their duties. 

First Issue

Second Issue

Worn from 1950 to 1980.

 

Elisha S. Harris Lawn Party – 1896

From The Olneyville Times, September 11, 1896.

     The Elisha S. Harris property was located at the intersection of of Pleasant View Avenue and Farnum Pike.  The home is still standing today. 

     

Smithfield Tax League – 1971

     Cartoon appeared on page 17 of the April 22, 1971 edition of The Observer.  Click on images to enlarge. 

New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Ad – 1895

Waterbury Evening Democrat
August 1, 1895

Vintage Views Of Rhode Island Lighthouses

Click on images to enlarge. 

Dutch Island Light

Rose Island Light, Newport, R. I.

Rocky Point, R. I.

Click on images to enlarge.

Smithfield Ads From The 1970s

Click on images to enlarge.

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Click on images to enlarge. 

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Click on images to enlarge. 

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50 Years Ago – December, 1966

50 Years Ago – December, 1966

By Jim Ignasher

    Renovations at the Greenville Baptist Church were nearing completion in time for Christmas. Georgiaville cabinet maker and craftsman, Hilliare Guindon, built a new communion table. John McGrillis, a stained glass artisan from North Providence made new windows, and a paper mosaic mural for the Baptistry wall was made by Mrs. Marjorie Jaswell. The church also received new gold carpeting and a colonial style brass chandelier imported from Holland.

     One hundred years earlier Smithfield’s oldest church had undergone another major renovation when it was raised from its foundation and the vestries were built underneath. In 1966 it was reported that a record of this modification could still be seen on the back of a small closet door in the church.

     The public was invited to see the work.

     Mrs. Claire Kamanski of Greenville was appointed Mother’s March Chairman for the Smithfield 1967 March of Dimes fundraising campaign. The March of Dimes organization fights birth defects through medical care and education.

     In 2016, many do their Christmas shopping via the Internet, but in 1966 The Outlet Company of Providence advertised that those wanting to avoid crowded stores could to do their shopping by telephone. This was an innovative idea for the time.  

     Diane Ceccofiglio, 13, of Greenville, won 2nd place in the National Accordion Competition held in New York City. She played Manhattan Concerto by Eugene Ettore. Diane had been studying the instrument since she was four-and-a-half.

     Wayne Pratt of Boy Scout Troop 3 in Greenville was one of 17 scouts from the Narragansett Council to attend the 12th World Jamboree being held in Idaho in the summer of 1967.

        On December 10, the Swinging Square Dance Club of Greenville held a Dance at the Laurel Grange on Snake Hill Road.

     It was also the season for Christmas parties.

     St. Philips Rosary Guild held theirs with a pot-luck supper at the former parish hall on Smith Avenue.

     The Dorothy Dame Parent teachers Association held theirs on December 13.

     The Apple Blossom Garden Club celebrated on the 14th with a Yankee Swap.

     Smithfield Cub Scouts Pack 4 held their Christmas party at McCabe School where they put together baskets of food to be distributed in cooperation with other town organizations.

     Other organizations that celebrated the season included The Mothers of Twins Club, The Smithfield Lions, and the Georgiaville Fire Company which included Santa’s arrival on a fire truck.    

     In a time when Smart Phones were non-existent, those wishing to take “home movies” to capture the holiday moments could use what was called a “home movie camera”. One store advertised a Japanese model for $119.95, or $12 down. Of course after the film was developed one needed a 16 mm projector to view the movie. They could be had for $209.50. A movie screen was extra.

   Smithfield military servicemen home on leave included: Kenneth W. Branch, Leroy Card, Jr., Maurice Limoges, Roy A. Mariotti, Russell A. Molloy, Joseph Payette, William Servoss, Ernest Stallings, and Stephen S. Wyman.

   Paul A. Rathbun of the U. S. Air Force, was promoted to Master Sergeant.

     Among the new Christmas songs released for the 1966 season were, “Someday at Christmas”, by Stevie Wonder, and “If Everyday Were Like Christmas”, by Elvis Presley.

     On December 18th the annual tree lighting ceremony sponsored by the Apple Blossom Club was held on the Greenville Common. Carolers were led by Joe Lopez, and Mrs. Fred Wilkes of St. Thomas Episcopal Church played the carillon chimes.

     On Christmas Eve the northeast experienced a nor’easter that included thunder and lightning, and dumped up to a foot of snow in some places thus making December 25, 1966 a “white Christmas”.  

 

 

 

 

 

50 Years Ago — August 1967

By Jim Ignasher

 

On August 2 the movie, “In The Heat Of The Night”, starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, premiered in New York.  The movie was a crime drama with Poitier as a Philadelphia homicide detective assisting Steiger, a small-town police chief, in solving the murder of a prominent citizen in the town of Sparta, Mississippi.  It won five academy awards including Best Picture of 1967.  A television series of the same name ran from 1988 – 1995.    

In other entertainment news country singer Bobby Gentry released he hit song, “Ode To Billy Joe”, and The Beatles song “All You Need Is Love” became a number one hit.    

 

What was termed a “zany” baseball game was held at Burgess Field in Greenville on August 7.  In this particular game, the players rode donkeys – or at least tired to.  

 

It was also on August 7 that NASA’s Lunar Orbiter 5 transmitted the most detailed photos ever taken of the dark side of the moon.  This was an important step in mapping the moon for upcoming manned lunar missions that would begin in 1969.     

 

The 3rd Annual Blue Gill Fishing Derby was held at Slack’s Pond in Greenville.  The winner was Tim McDaniel of Lakeside Drive, who caught a one pound Blue Gill, thought to be the largest one ever taken from the pond.

 

Fifteen members of Boy Scout Troop 1 of Gerogiaville returned from a camping trip at the Silver Buffalo Campground in Yawgoog Valley.  

 

How many can recall slide-film and slide-projectors?  For those who can’t slide-film was processed into transparent images that could be viewed on a large screen or wall by using a slide-projector.  (Great for showing family and friends pictures of one’s vacation trip.)  A local person advertised a slide-projector for sale that came with a whopping 60 trays, and two carrying cases, all for the price of $60.  The ad claimed the original cost for everything when new was $150.  

 

The Smithfield Recreation Department sponsored an outdoor dance at Greenlake Beach in Greenville that was attended by 200 youths.  Another was held on August 11 at Georgiaville Beach.

 

The Smithfield All Stars Little League baseball team won the Rhode Island Little League Crown against a team from Onleyville, 6-0.

 

President Lyndon Johnson approved the deployment of an additional 45,000 troops to Vietnam by June 30, 1968.

U.S. Navy Ensign Frederick J. Stephenson, Jr., of Greenville, completed Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Georgia.  

Captain Scott McNeilly of Greenville returned home after completing his tour of duty in Vietnam.  

    

Civil Air Patrol Cadet, 2nd Lieutenant Paula M. Blackmore, of the Smithfield Composite Squadron, earned her glider pilot wings while attending a C.A. P. encampment in Elmira, New York.       

 

A Putnam Pike car dealership was offering a 1967 Cadillac convertible with factory air and an AM/FM stereo, for $5,800.  A quick check of the Internet reveals that the same car today, depending on condition, sells between twenty and thirty five thousand dollars.  

The same dealer had a 1966 Pontiac, LeMans, (Remember them?) for $2395, and a brand new ’67 Pontiac Firebird, but with no price given.  

 

The Greenville Grange, which once stood near the Greenville Post Office, held an annual picnic for its members on Johnson’s Pond.  

 

The Apple Blossom Garden Club held a food sale on the Greenville Common to raise funds for the club’s community beautification projects.  The event was chaired by Mrs. Roland Smith and Mrs. Harold Hall.

 

Speaking of community improvements, the state finally approved the construction of sidewalks on both sides of Smith Avenue from Greenville Center all the way to the Glocester town line. The move came after much pressure from local residents who had raised safety concerns.   

 

On August 25, the annual “Water Carnival” was held at Slack’s Pond in Greenville.  The show was performed by children who had completed swimming lessons conducted by Celine Welch, and Suzanne Boulais, both swim instructors for the town.  

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