Smithfield, R. I., Political Campaign Car – 1956

Car in front of Town Hall.  Photo courtesy of Alonzo Thurber. 

Click on image to enlarge. 

Smithfield D.P.W. Bucket Loader – 1949

July, 1949

Photos courtesy of Alonzo Thurber.

Click on images to enlarge.


Smithfield, R. I., Police Station Photos

    The original police station was located in the Smithfield Town Hall from 1950 until 1972.  Land owned by Burton and Mary Mowry was donated to the town for a new police station site, and ground breaking ceremonies took place on May 27, 1972.  Dedication ceremonies were held on January 14, 1973. 

Click on images to enlarge.

Groundbreaking for new station, May 27, 1972.
L to R: Deputy Chief James McVey, Chief Arthur Gould, Corporal Saverio Serapiglia

Expansion of the police station – 2016/17



Vintage Smithfield, R. I., Police Photos

Click on images to enlarge.

Smithfield’s first police car.
A 1930 Ford Model A.

Chief Kelly – 1935 Ford

Police Chief Lacroix

Washington Highway – 1940s

Officer Adolph Schenck investigates a traffic accident on Douglas Pike in 1951 while Alfred Angel and Milton Corey look on.

Smithfield Police – 1950

The police station was located in the Town Hall.

Smithfield Police – 1961

Washington Highway – 1970s

In 1977, the department drove light blue police cars.

Officer Joe Plachino looking at camera.

Captain Prescott J. Williams, Jr.

1976 Traffic Wagon

1978 Ford

Officer Charles McCann
Douglas Pike at Washington Hwy.

Chief Vincent O’Connell

1983 Chevrolet

Farnum Pike at Old County Rd.

Photo taken in 2007

Photo taken in 2007.

photo taken in 2007.




Smith-Appleby Marriages, Births, & Deaths

     From a Bible found at the Smith-Appleby House.

Click on images to enlarge. 


Vintage Rhode Island Prison Newspaper Articles

     A portion of the land presently occupied by the Providence Place Mall in Providence, Rhode Island, was once occupied by the Providence Jail.  The jail was constructed in 1838, and replaced an earlier jail that was located along Canal Street.  The Providence Jail remained in use until 1877, when a new state prison was built in Cranston.  The former Providence Jail was then used as a boarding house by the City of Providence until it was demolished in 1894.      

 Click on images to enlarge.

Portland Gazette & Maine Advertiser
September 8, 1806

Unknown Newspaper
May 11, 1826

Rhode Island Republican
August 21, 1823

Rhode Island Republican
June 30, 1825

Rhode Island Republican
November 10, 1825

Literary Cadet & R.I. Statesman
May 15, 1828

Herald of the Times
Newport, RI
June 30, 1830

Herald of the Times
Newport R.I.
January 2, 1833

Rhode Island republican
January 29, 1833

Herald of the Times
Newport, RI
June 27, 1833

Northern Star & Constitutionalist
Warren, RI
January 31, 1835

Alexandria Gazette
April 13, 1839

Herald of the Times
Newport, R. I.
May 19, 1842

The Voice of Freedom
Montpelier VT.
September 9, 1847

Sunday Dispatch (N.Y.)
February 28, 1848

New York Herald
December 2, 1850

The Rutland (VT.) Weekly Herald
November 7, 1872

Rutland Weekly Herald
November 7, 1872

New York Tribune
September 19, 1893

Providence News
April 10, 1893

Providence News
April 10, 1893

Providence News
April 10, 1893

The Morning Journal & Courier
New Haven, CT
September 19, 1893

The Providence News
July 20, 1894

The Providence News
November 25, 1903

Daily Kennebec Journal
September, 22, 1909

Norwich Bulletin
September 15, 1921

The Washington Times
April 21, 1930

     To see vintage Rhode Island Department of Corrections uniform insignia, click on the link below. 

      Vintage Department of Corrections Insignia

Police Station Dedication, Smithfield, R. I. – 1973

Click on images to enlarge. 

January, 1973

50 Years Ago – January 1973

50 Years Ago – January, 1973

By Jim Ignasher   

January, 1973

     Army first sergeant August Bruno of Esmond, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. He was a veteran of World War II and took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

     Ralph E. Iannatelli of Greenville was home on leave while serving in the Air Force.

     Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Harry L. Latham of Georgiaville was awarded his silver pilot wings upon his graduation from flight school. He would be serving with the Strategic Air Command.

     Frank Albanese, Jr., of Greenville was appointed to the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.   

January, 1973

     Navy Petty Officer 2/C Alfred D. Doucette of Georgiaville became a “Golden Dragon” when he crossed the International Date Line while serving aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Richard E. Kraus.

     Air Force Sergeant Charles D. Dawley of Greenville was serving at Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey.

     Cadet Lynette Blackmore of the Smithfield Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol was one of 120 cadets nationwide chosen to attend a national symposium in Dallas, Texas.

     A recent cold snap caused local ponds and lakes to freeze over thus allowing youths to try out their new ice skates they received for Christmas.

     The new Smithfield police station was dedicated on January 14. It was built on land donated by Bertram and Mary Mowry. Greenville resident John J. Dodd donated a 20 foot tall spruce tree that was planted on the front lawn to the station. The spruce had once been given to Mr. Dodd by the department’s deputy chief Adolph E. Schenck.   

January, 1973

     The newly completed Smithfield Ice Rink was opened to the public.

     The Smithfield Civil Defense Siren System was reactivated, and it was announced that tests would be conducted throughout the months for January and February so as not to alarm citizens.

     17-year-old Debbie Cerroni, a senior at Smithfield High School, was names Miss Junior Achievement at the organizations annual convention in Providence. Miss Cerroni represented a company sponsored by Sears & Robuck known as Model A.

     The Greenville Grange on Austin Avenue held an antique show and sale.

     The Rhode Island Army National Guard had proposed the building of a helicopter base next to their building on Washington Highway. More than 300 people attended a public meeting held at the Smithfield High School to voice their opposition to the plan. The town council unanimously voted against the plane, and the heliport was never built.   

January, 1973

      A local car dealership was advertising a 1972 Ford LTD for #3,195, and a 1971 Mustang Mach 1, with an AM/FM 8-track radio-tape player, for $2,395.

     The Smithfield Historical Society acquired a dilapidated train station with the intent of restoring it. The station stood on Brayton Road near Farnum Pike and dated to c. 1872. The building was moved to the property of the Smith-Appleby House Museum in Stillwater and after restoration, was put on public display where it remains to this day.

     President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would begin development of its space shuttle program.

     Hewlett-Packard released the HP-35, the first electronic pocket calculator capable of computing logarithms and trigonometry. The price was $395, which translates to about $2,800 in today’s dollars.

50 Years Ago – December, 1972

50 Years Ago – December, 1972

By Jim Ignasher   

December, 1972

    Airman Charles E. Pelletier of Greenville was serving at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.

     The Smithfield Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol took part in celebrations honoring the 31st anniversary of the founding of the C.A.P. Membership to the Smithfield squadron was open to all youths between the ages of 13 to 18. Older youth were eligible to become senior members.

     On December 7, Apollo 17 launched from Cape Kennedy with three astronauts and five mice aboard. This would be the last manned moon landing conducted by NASA up to the present day.   

December, 1972

     On December 9, The Smithfield High School Ecology Club held a paper drive. Residents were advised to drop off old newspapers and magazines at the high school to be recycled.

     On December 12, the William Winsor Parent Teachers Association held a Christmas Bazaar.

     The Smithfield Ice Rink was nearing completion, and a contest sponsored by the Smithfield Recreation Department, was held to select a design for the center of the floor that would be under the ice. The winner was Mary Natalizia of Georgiaville, who received a $35 savings bond. Other contestants, Roberta Smith, Greg Hall, and Paula Serapiglia, received awards for honorable mention.

     The awards were presented by the ice rink director, Stanley Lange.

     On December 16 the Greenville Grange held a Christmas Bazaar

     The Cranford Club of Greenville entertained patients at Zambarano Hospital.   

December, 1972

     Over one thousand citizens attended the annual Christmas Light Ceremony held at the Town Hall in Georgiaville. Music and carols were provided by the Smithfield Junior High Glee Club, and the Smithfield High School Orchestra. Upstairs in the council chambers Santa doled out gifts to the children, while adults could partake in coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts.

     The following night the annual tree lighting ceremony took place on the Greenville Common, which included a nativity scene, and an invocation given by Rev. Alvin Johnson, pastor of the Greenville Baptist Church, and Rev. William Bourdon, pastor of St. Philip’s Church.

     Music was provided by the Apple Valley Chorus, the Greenville Chorus, and Miss Olive Wilkes of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

     Mrs. Mary E. Freeman of Greenville was appointed Chairperson of the Smithfield chapter of the March of Dimes charity.

     Members of Brownie Troop 53 of Georgiaville appeared on the local television show “Dialing for Dollars”, a show based on random telephone calls to viewers. If the person who answered the phone knew the password that was announced at the beginning of the show, they’d win money.   

December, 1972

     Five members of Boy Scout Troop 1 of Greenville were elevated to Life & Star Scouts. They were; Gerald Shirley, Charles Walsh, Timothy Walsh, Robert Ferguson, and Ronald DiNoble.

     To encourage the planting of more trees, the Smithfield Conservation Commission was taking orders for free sapling trees to be delivered in April in time for spring planting. The trees included Hemlock, Douglas Fir, White Spruce, and White Pine.

     A local business was advertising snow tires for $18.77 a pair. This did not include tax or installation. A new battery could be had for $21.86, and windshield de-icer for 87 cents a can.

     The Smithfield Neighborhood Association for Progress, (S.N.A.P.), elected new officers. Elected Chairman was Roy K. Becket; Vice Chair, Blanche Panzarella; Secretary, Beverly Viracco; Treasurer, Rev. William Bourdon.



50 Years Ago – November 1972

50 Years Ago – November, 1972

By Jim Ignasher   

November, 1972

     Navy Petty Officer Third Class David R. Young of Greenville was serving aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid. The ship had recently taken part in a training exercise termed “Operation Strong Express” off the coast of Norway. At the time it was the largest sea and air exercise ever conducted by allied countries of the North Atlantic.

     Navy recruit Fred W. Finlay of Esmond graduated from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

     1972 was an election year, and voter turnout was heavy. Out of 8,280 registered Smithfield voters, 6,416 voted. The town had three open polling areas, and the wait was reported to be two hours.

     The newly elected Smithfield Town Council for 1972 included: John F. Emin, Jr., Thomas F. Fogarty, Jr., John V. Clossick, Raymond Flynn, and Francis R. Bell.

     On November 7, Vincent H. Dexter, a local conservationist and historian, presented a slide show about the Woonasquatucket Watershed at the Greenville Baptist Church   

November, 1972

     A modern radio communications center began operation at the new Smithfield police station. The radio equipment took three days to install.

     Boy Scout Troop 3 of Greenville, under Scout Master Z. J. Czubak Jr., camped over night at the Buck Hill Scout Reservation in Burrillville.

     The Rally Point Racquet Club opened on Church Street. It is still in use today.

     If one went to the Apple Valley Cinema they might have seen, “What’s Up Doc?” a comedy starring Barbara Streisand and Ryan O’Neal; “The Salsburg Connection”, a spy thriller set in the Cold War; “The Other”, a thriller set in 1935 involving a small town and a series of gruesome accidents; or “The New Centirions”, a police drama starring George C. Scott and Stacy Keach.

     A local ford dealership was offering a 1969 Ford Country Squire station wagon. The ad read, “Excellent condition – a steal!” at a mere $1,995.

     A local fruit and vegetable business was offering egg plant at ten cents each, and butternut squash at eight cents a pound.   

November, 1972

     The Smithfield Traffic Safety Commission consisting of John F. Emin, Jr., Alonzo F. Thurber II, and Chief of Police Arthur B. Gould, determined that a stop sign should be erected at the intersection of Colwell Road and Mapleville Road, and that “no parking” signs should be placed at the cul-du-sacs on John Mowry Road.

     The Greenville Public Library celebrated its 90th Birthday. The original library had been in the center of Greenville next to St. Thomas Church, but moved to its present location in 1956.

     On November 25, to raise funds, a Tupperware Party was held at the Greenville Grange. For those who don’t know, the Tupperware company was established in 1946 by Earl Tupper, who later donated 220 acres of land to Bryant College, (University), in the 1960s, which enabled the college to relocate from Providence to Smithfield.

     On November 26, the annual community wide Ecumenical Hymn Sing was held at the Greenville Baptist Church. The theme was to pray for peace in a troubled world. All faiths were invited.


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