50 years Ago – November, 1968

50 Years Ago – November, 1968

 

1968

     November of 1968 was an election year, and among the things Smithfield voters were asked to decide was a $7,000,000 sewer bond to appropriate money to replace septic systems with sewer lines. An article which appeared in a local newspaper at the time spoke of how the Woonasquatucket River was once routinely used for waste disposal.   History has shown that the bond passed.

     Air Force Master Sergeant A. Howard Thornton of Greenville received the Bronze Star at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina for “meritorious service while engaged in military operations against Viet Cong forces” in Vietnam. M/Sgt. Thornton had also served in WWII and the Korean War.    

     Air Force Sergeant Paul Taubman of Greenville returned home after his tour of duty at Rhu Trang Air Force Base in Vietnam.    

     The Berlin Wall that once separated East and West Germany was begun in 1961. By 1968, construction on the wall still continued, with armed guards watching over workers who might contemplate trying to escape to the west.

     150 children attended a program at the Greenville Public Library titled “This is Ballet”, during which a husband and wife ballet team demonstrated and spoke about the subject of ballet, and performed a short story titled “The Stranger” through ballet.

     On November 17, the infamous “Heidi Game” aired on national television.    

     What would autumn be without football? Top executives at one television network found out when they abruptly cut short the airing of a pro-football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets. With just 65 seconds left in the game, and with Oakland trailing by three points, the network stopped broadcasting the game so it could begin its scheduled program of the movie “Heidi”. What football fans missed was a dramatic comeback by the Raiders, scoring two touchdowns and winning the game 43-32. The following day the network was flooded with angry callers, causing all future program planners from all networks to make sure such scheduling conflicts never occur again.     

     On November 22, The Beatles released their famous “White Album” which was a double album that included two long playing records. Certain examples of this album are selling for hundreds of dollars at certain on-line websites, but today one can buy the album on CD for significantly less.  

An Angel For St. Philip Church

Originally published in the Smithfield Times – November, 2018 

An Angel For St. Phillip Church

By Jim Ignasher

     Perhaps you’ve driven past St. Philip Church in Greenville recently and noticed something’s different, such as the twelve-foot-tall statue of an angel standing between St. Philip School and the church. Although the angel is a recent addition, the reason for its being there can be traced to the school’s origin in 1960.

     By the mid-1950s St. Philip parish had grown to the point where parishioners felt a parochial school for the elementary and middle school grades was warranted, and funds were allotted for its construction. Monsignor Joseph P. McNamara, then pastor of St. Philip Church, oversaw the construction of both the new school, and an adjacent convent building that would serve as a dormitory for the nuns who would serve as teachers and administrators.

     The new school opened in September of 1960 with a staff of only four nuns, each belonging to the Religious Sisters of Mercy at Mount St. Rita’s Convent in Cumberland. When they first arrived, the convent at St. Philip’s had yet to be completed, so they were temporarily housed at the St. Aloysius Home, then located on Austin Avenue.

     And the school had yet to be fully stocked with necessary items such as books and desks, forcing students to improvise for the first few weeks. Yet despite the initial set backs, the school proved to be popular among the parishioners, and by 1964 enrollment had reached capacity necessitating waiting lists. By the later 1960s, the teaching staff had grown to eight, (One teacher for each grade.), with class size routinely hovering around fifty students. Despite the large classes, the school became known for its academic excellence.

     Over the ensuing years thirty-nine Religious Sisters of Mercy served at St. Philip School, five of them as principals, which brings us to the statue of the angel. In 2016 it was announced that some demolition work would take place at the Mount St. Rita Convent, and the statue of the angel would need to be relocated in order to be saved. To make a long story short, the statue was brought to St. Philip Church to create a Mercy Memorial Garden as a way to honor and remember the nuns from the convent who served at St. Philip School.

     In August of this year the statue was placed atop a cement slab outside the school, and given a dazzling white protective coating of paint. Then a memorial walkway was installed, with inscribed bricks bearing the names of the thirty-nine sisters from Mount St. Rita Convent who taught at the school; five ivory colored bricks for those who served as principal, the rest done in red. Finally, landscaping was added.

     On September 13, a dedication ceremony was held that was led by Reverend Francis C. Santilli, the present pastor of St. Philip Parish, and assistant pastor, Father Ryan Simas, during which the statue was blessed, and named the “Angel of Peace” in reference to the Angel of Portugal who appeared before three peasant children of Fatima in 1916 asking them to pray. The following year the three children would experience numerous visions of the Virgin Mary that have become world famous.

     In addition to dedicating the statue, a large room in the former convent, now used for administration purposes, was dedicated as “Mercy Hall”, in honor of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, and another room in the school was named “Peters Place”, in honor of Sister Mary Assunta Peters, R.S.M, the first principal of St. Philip School.  

     The ceremony was well attended by an estimated 300 people, with music provided by the St. Philip School youth choir.

     Special honored guests included eight former nuns who served at St. Philip School. When it was over, they were given a special tour of the renovated convent, and invited to dinner at the St. Philip Parish Festival taking place behind the church.

 

Zina Westcot – 1818

Zina Westcot – 1818

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Smithfield, R. I. Business Ads – 1960s

Smithfield, R.I. Business Ads – 1960s

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September, 1967

1967

1967

1967

1967

1967

July, 1968

September, 1968

September, 1968

1968

October, 1968

November, 1968

December, 1968

December, 1968

December, 1968

December, 1968

December, 1968

 

John Mowry House – Smithfield, R.I.

John Mowry House – Smithfield, R.I.

     These three building were once located where the dome of the Bryant University Unistructure is presently located.  The houses on either end were re-located to another part of the campus. 

 

Old Greenville Station, Circa 1930

Old Greenville Station, Route 44, Greenville, R.I.

Circa 1930

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Smithfield Meeting House Lottery Tickets – 1807

 

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Early Smith-Appleby House Interiors

Early Smith-Appleby House Interiors

     Images courtesy of Cynthia Sheppard and Jean Hamon, descendants of Silas Appleby.  These pictures were likely taken in the 1930s – 40s.  Unfortunately, the items shown were sold at auction in the 1960s.  The Historical Society of Smithfield did not obtain the property until 1976.     

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Upstairs room.

Stencil Room – Bed Room

House Items.

Gold Parlor Cabinet.
Note the musket and powder horn.

China Cabinet In Best Parlor.

Best Parlor Showing China Cabinet.

Ornate stove in the Best Parlor.

 

Early Modes of Transportation

Early Modes Of Transportation

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Milk Delivery Sleigh at Smith-Appleby House.
Courtesy of Cynthia Sheppard and Jean Hamon.

Sidney Appleby, Stillwater, R.I.
Courtesy of Cynthia Sheppard and Jean Hamon.

Maria Appleby and her horse.
Courtesy of Cynthia Sheppard and Jean Hamon.

An early automobile in front of the barn circa 1915.

An early automobile in front of the Smith-Appleby House barn circa 1915.

This photo shows a dairy wagon in front of the barn. The farm had dairy cows before 1920.

This photo shows a dairy wagon in front of the Smith-Appleby House barn. The farm had dairy cows before 1920.

Smithfield’s first police car, a Ford Model A

 

Georgiaville Vol. Fire Company

Image courtesy of Dyanne Smith. 

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Some members of the Georgiaville, R.I. Vol. Fire Co.
Unknown Date

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