50 Years Ago – October, 1971

50 years Ago – October, 1971

     Technical Sergeant Alonzo F. Thurber was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for outstanding work while serving at Hof Air Force base in Germany.

     Air Force Second Lieutenant Harry L. Latham entered pilot training.

     William R. Couture of Greenville was promoted to Staff Sergeant while serving in the United States Air Force Tactical Air Command.

     Navy seaman George J. Gilmore of Greenville was serving aboard the tanker ship U.S.S. Milwaukee.

     Navy airman David R. Young of Greenville was serving aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid.

     Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, officially opened to the public at 10:00 a.m. on October 1. Ten-thousand people attended the first day. In 1971, the price for a one day park pass was $3.50.

     15-year-old Jack McBride of Pleasant View Avenue was promoted to Eagle Scout. He was a member of Troop 4 in Greenville.

     Dancing classes, sponsored by the Smithfield Recreation Department, were begun. The classes, taught by Miss Karen Proulx, included tap, jazz, and ballet.

     On October 6, the Cranford Club of Greenville, hosted a party for patients at Zambarano Hospital in Burrillville. The Cranford Club was a charitable civic organization established in 1905.

     A “Punt, Pass, and Kick” competition, open to all boys ages 8 through 13, was held at the Smithfield High School. The event was sponsored by Notorantonio Ford and the Smithfield Jaycees. The winners in each age category were: John Germano, Kenneth Albanese, Greg Williams, Mike Tartaglia, Douglas Hanson, and Edward Gauthier. They went on to compete in an area wide championship held in Cranston.

     The Smithfield Raiders football team took first place in the American Conference of Rhode Island Pre-teen Football League by beating the North Providence Jets 30 – 0.

     Smithfield High School held its annual Homecoming event and twelve local students were nominated for Homecoming Queen. They were; Mary Provonsil, Julie Guidone, Kathy Wright, Diane Guglielmino, Paula Commendatore, Debbie Christiansen, Ellen Provonsil, Anne Short, Karen Henriksen, Geraldine DiSteffano, Debbie Cerrone, and Diane Hudson.

     Geraldine DiSteffano was crowned the queen.

     The Stonehenge Apartments in Greenville were opened for rental. An advertisement read, “Giving a home like feeling rather than apartment living.” (No children – no pets.)

     Rhode Island’s Governor Frank Licht issued a proclamation naming October 7 – 16 National Apple Week.

     A local Chevrolet dealership was offering a 1969 Chevelle Sport Coupe with a sliver and blue exterior and deep blue interior, equipped with a V-8 engine, power steering, and four new tires, all for $1,895. The same car today, restored, sells in the neighborhood of $40,000.

     On October 23 – 24, the “Apple Valley Gem and Mineral Show”, sponsored by the Rhode Island Mineral Hunters Club, was held at Anna McCabe School.

     It was also on October 23rd that a genuine “German Bierfest” sponsored by the Smithfield mental Health Association was held at Waterman’s Lake. The event featured authentic German food and music.

     Smithfield received an $11,000 grant from the Rhode Island Conservation Commission to go towards the purchase of a 43.7 acre parcel of land on Old Forge Road to be used for open space and recreational purposes. This was a matching grant, which means the town had to contribute the same amount to bring the total cost up to $22,000. The land had been owned by Burton and Mary Mowry, who’d agreed to sell.

     Today the property is known as the Mowry Conservation Area and features a picnic area, a brook, and walking trails.

     The road gets its name because of an 18th century iron forge that once existed there. It is said that the forge produced cannons for the Revolutionary War.

     On October 24th, students of Mrs. Helen Taubman gave a piano recital at the Greenville Library. They were: Lisa Clemence, Susan Waradzin, Lynda Buckley, and Patti Monahan.

     On October 30 – 31, the public was invited, (for a “reasonable price”), to ride in an “Air-Cycle” at Brush’s Field at Waterman’s Lake. An Air-cycle was a type of hover craft that floated a few inches off the ground and could be used in rough terrain and on water.

50 Years Ago – September, 1971

50 Years Ago – September, 1971

By Jim Ignasher

   

September, 1971

      Airman Carl Ackroyd of Esmond completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base.

     Harry Latham was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. His father, retired air force Major Irving Latham was present.

     Navy lieutenant Wesley E. Foutch was serving at the naval air station in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

     Army Captain Edmond B. Lynch, Jr. of Greenville was awarded the bronze Star while serving with the 23rd Infantry Division in Vietnam.

     Patricia Darby of Spragueville was promoted to the rank of corporal in the United States Marine Corp.

     On September 4th the Concorde, a supersonic commercial passenger aircraft, made its first transatlantic flight from France to the Cape Verde Islands traveling at an average speed of 1,222 miles per hour.   

September, 1971

      Animal Control Officer George Kelly was dispatched to a home on Farnum Pike for a report of a man up a tree. Upon arrival he encountered a vicious dog that would not allow the man to climb down from his perch. When Kelly attempted to capture the dog, it attacked him and bit him on the arm. The dog was eventually restrained, and when Smithfield police located the owner, they were informed that the dog was used in security work.

     The Smithfield Historical Society elected new officers. William R. Gustafson was elected president; John F. Emin, Jr., vice president; Mrs. Joseph Mollo, recording secretary; Mrs. Ralph Harris, corresponding secretary; and John Hines, treasurer.

     The Apple Blossom Garden Club held a meeting in the Esmond Recreational Hall. The guest speaker was Mrs. Evelyn Umphrey who lectured about aromatic herbs.

     On September 8th the Smithfield Golden Agers elected new officers. Margaret Sanderson was elected president; William Tiebault, vice president; Mary Keough, treasurer; Stella Hill, secretary; and Elizabeth Holt and Agnes Barby to “publicity”.

     On September 9th, the Smithfield Neighborhood Association for Progress, (SNAP), held a meeting at the Greenville Manor.

     On September 10, “Art Group 70”, an association formed in 1970 to promote fine arts and crafts in Northern Rhode Island held its first general meeting at the Greenville Public Library.   

September, 1971

     On September 11th, Luna 18, an unmanned Soviet moon probe crashed on the moon’s surface.

     On September 15th, the United States Forest Service, building on its success with the Smokey the Bear anti-forest fire campaign, introduced “Woodsy Owl”, with the slogan, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute.” as part of it’s Keep America Beautiful campaign.

     The Greenville Grange held its 65th installation of officers at the Greenville Grange Hall once located on Austin Avenue. Joseph Connetti was elected Master; Mildred Paterson, Assistant Steward; Mildred Stone, Flora; Mary Sheffield, Pomona; Ruth Smith, Lecturer; Louise MacDonald, Chaplain; Howard Horton, Secretary; Earle Huse, Overseer; Gerald Fielder, Overseer; Jo Ann Atkinson, Steward; and Ernest Smith, Executive Committee. The first installation was held in 1907.

     The Town of Smithfield received $39,195 in federal funds to combat the town unemployment rate of 12%.

    The Smithfield Raiders football team won the homecoming game against South County 18 to 0.

     “Billy Burr’s Fun-O-Rama” carnival was held at the Apple Valley Mall. Advertisements promised “new rides, new games, and new thrills – fun and excitement for everyone”. A major draw was to be “The Great DeFoce” an aerial acrobat who would perform “suicidal stunts” 100 feet in the air.

     The once popular LOOK magazine announced that due to rising costs and declining revenues its October 19, 1971 issue would be its last.

 

50 Years Ago – August, 1971

50 years Ago – August, 1971

By Jim Ignasher   

August 5, 1971

     Navy Petty Officer First Class Albert R. Almon was serving aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp.

     Major Russell W. Turner of Greenville graduated from Command and General Staff school and was stationed in Augusta, Georgia.

     Boy Scout Troops 3 and 64, both of Greenville, spent a week camping at Camp Yawgoog.

     On August 1st, the crew of the Apollo 15 moon mission left a plaque on the surface of the moon honoring the 14 American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts who had lost their lives in the service of their country while working to further space exploration.

     Apollo 15 returned to Earth on the 7th.

     The Circus Wagon Theatre Company arrived at Whipple Field to give a performance of a play called “Shirley, Shirley”, the story of a spoiled brat who leaves the circus and experiences a series of life altering adventures before returning with a new attitude. The play was performed in pantomime from the rear deck of a red, white, and blue, flatbed truck equipped with a trampoline, a small swimming pool, a slide, and a jungle gym. The actors were all theatre majors from the University of Rhode Island. The next scheduled performance was at Burgess Field in Greenville. The troupe was slated to perform at 120 playgrounds throughout the state during the summer.   

August, 1971

     John B. Tessaglia A. I. A. of North Providence, was chosen as the architect to design Smithfield’s new police station on Pleasant View Avenue. The land for the new station was donated by Smithfield residents Burton and Mary Mowry.

     On August 12, the newly constructed Bryant College (now university) campus was nearing completion and getting ready to receive students for the fall semester. A bar which once existed on the campus known as “The Rathskeller” was granted a liquor license by the town.

     Meanwhile the college petitioned the town to abandon that portion of John Mowry Road which crossed the campus. Local residents were split on the issue, as were the police and fire departments, but history has shown the request was granted.

     A muscular dystrophy fund raising carnival was held at 34 Second Street in Esmond, by Meridee Goodwin and Rene Buteau, which raised $56.64 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

     On August 21, the Balfour – Cole American Legion Post on Pleasant View Avenue held a mortgage burning ceremony. The public was invited and refreshments were served.

     Hit songs heard on the radio in August of ’71 included “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” by the Bee Gees, and “I Feel The Earth Move” by Carole King.  

August, 1971

     On August 25th the Apple Valley Cinema expanded by opening a fourth movie theatre making it the second cinema complex in Rhode Island to contain four theatres. If one went to the movies they might have seen “Plaza Suite”, a comedy by playwright Neil Simon that takes place in New York City’s Plaza Hotel, or “Summer of ‘42”, a coming of age film set in Nantucket during WWII, or “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, the story of a boy who finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar and visits Wonka’s candy factory, or “Who Is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?”, which was about a music composer trying to track down Kellerman.

     Also on August 25th the Greenville Senior Sunshiners took a one-day trip to New Hampshire.

     On August 28th an “old fashioned” square dance, sponsored by the Citizens for the Preservation of Waterman Lake, was held at the Waterman’s Lake Beach Club.

     t was also on August 28th that a severe thunderstorm blew through the Greenville area knocking down trees and causing power outages.

North Central Airways Ad – 1971

November, 1971

Greenville Fire Trucks – 1970s

Photos courtesy of Donald Crisman.

Click on images to enlarge.

Lafayette Tree, Scituate, R. I.

 

Article is from September 11, 1895.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_du_Motier,_Marquis_de_Lafayette#Barren_Hill,_Monmouth,_and_Rhode_Island

Spragueville, R. I. WWII Memorial

    The memorial is located at the intersection of Pleasant View Ave. at Swan Rd. in the Spragueville section of Smithfield, R. I. 

Click on images to enlarge.

Names with stars next to them died in service.

     Private Richard O. Austin was born December 8, 1919, and died in action in France on June 9, 1944.  He was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division which took part in the D-Day landing at Utah Beach on June 6, 1944.  He’s buried at Acotes Cemetery in Chepachet, R. I., Section K, Lot 599, map 00034.   His army service number was 31172184.   If anyone has any photos or additional information about Pvt. Austin please contact the Smithfield Historical Society.  

     Click here for information about Captain Peder A Johnson:https://smithapplebyhouse.org/unsung-heroes/

     Click here for information about Sgt. Robert M. Martin: https://smithapplebyhouse.org/chance-relics-reveal-a-forgotten-tale/

     Click here for information about Lieutenant Francis Payette: https://smithapplebyhouse.org/snatched-from-friendly-skies/

 

Bryant University Views – August, 2021

Images taken August, 2021.

Click on images to enlarge.

50 Years Ago – July, 1971

50 years Ago – July, 1971

July, 1971

     DC/1 Dennis J. Layfield, (United States Coast Guard), of Greenville, completed his service in Vietnam and was assigned to a military recruiting station in Rhode Island.

     Staff Sergeant Benjamin Crossman, Jr., of Greenville, was home for thirty days before his deployment to Vietnam.

     U.S. Air Force Captain Anthony J. Fascitelli, Jr. was serving at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.

     James Coupe of Spragueville was honorably discharged from the U. S. Air Force after serving four years with the Strategic Air Command.

     The 44th annual Ancients and Horribles Parade was held in Glocester.

     Ground was broken for the construction of the Smithfield Boys Club at the bottom of Deerfield Drive. Today the building is occupied by the YMCA.

     The advocacy group, “Citizens for the Preservation of Waterman Lake”, held a meeting at the Lakeshores Community Hall to discuss issuing boat stickers for those authorized to use the lake, weed control, and the possibility of having local police patrol the lake with a boat ten to twelve hours a week.

     In the early 1970s there was a proposal to construct an interstate highway, (I-84), across northwestern Rhode Island to Connecticut. While some were in favor of the idea, others were against it. Locally, a group calling themselves “Stop I-84 Inc.” was established to prevent the highway from being constructed. In July of 1971 the group elected its first officers. History shows the Rhode Island portion of the highway was never built.    

July, 1971

     Members of the charitable organization known as “The Cranford Club” were honored for their volunteer work at Zamborano Hospital in Burrillville. They included: Viola Glasheen, Edith Scully, Hattie Knuschke, Cora Hopkins, Mrs. E. Spenser, Mrs. E. Knuschke, Mrs. A. Jordan, Mrs. M. Flynn, Mrs. M. Petersen, Mrs. M. Emma, and Mrs. I. Suppicich.

     If one went to the Apple Valley Cinema in July, 1971, they would have seen “Klute” a crime drama starring Donald Southerland who plays a detective investigating a missing person’s case; or “Ryans Daughter”, a romantic drama set in England during World War I; or “The Andromeda Strain”, a sci-fi thriller involving a group of scientists trying to stop the spread of an extraterrestrial killer virus.

     On July 15 the “Smithfield Neighborhood Association for Progress” held a meeting at the Esmond Recreation Center.

     On July 19, the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York City reached its maximum height of 1,362 feet making it, and the north tower at 1, 368 feet, the two tallest buildings in the world at the time.

     On July 26 the Apollo 15 moon mission was launched from Cape Kennedy in Florida. The crew consisted of David Scott, Alfred Worden, and James Irwin. Scott and Irwin became the first men in history to drive a motor vehicle, (the lunar rover), on the surface of the moon. Out of safety and necessity, the total distance traveled was only 2.5 miles. The rover still remains on the moon to this day.

     On July 27th a special state election was held to determine if a sewer line extension should be constructed from Cumberland, down Route 116 into Smithfield, and ending at Harris Road. The cost was to be borne by those who would be utilizing the line, and not Smithfield taxpayers.

     People’s Bank was offering a set of six reversible Rhode Island scenic placemats for only $1.99 contingent to opening a savings account with fifty dollars or more.

    On July 31, the Blue Gill Derby, sponsored by the Slacks Reservoir Improvement Association, was held at Slacks Reservoir. The event included fishing, swimming, and a row boat contests with trophies awarded to the winners.

50 Years Age – June, 1971

50 Years Ago – June, 1971

By Jim Ignasher

June, 1971

     Airman Paul R. Sherboken of Brayton Road just completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

   Navy petty officer 3/c Joseph S. Smith, Jr., of Greenville graduated from radar training school at Great Lakes Naval Air Station.

     On June 1st, the St. Philip’s Rosary Guild held a dinner at the Club 44 where new officers were elected. Mrs. John Higgins became the new president; Mrs. George Hebert, vice president; Mrs. Peter Almon, treasurer; and Mrs. John DeAngelis, secretary.

     Smithfield artist Alexis Krupka of Georgiaville displayed some of his paintings at the Saylesville Library in Lincoln.

     On June 13th the Georgiaville Fire Company held a memorial ceremony honoring fallen firefighters.

     Smithfield’s animal control officer George Kelley was faced with a mystery. He’d found a dog wearing a North Smithfield dog tag that was in the shape of a fire hydrant, and dated 1971. He contacted his North Smithfield counterpart for information about the animal’s owner, and was informed that he’d ordered the hydrant shaped tags, which were made at the ACI, but that they never arrived, and instead North Smithfield was now issuing ones shaped like flowers in case the others should be “found” and misused. The dog was taken to the animal shelter for further investigation.

     New cars advertised by local auto dealerships included a brand new Chevrolet Monte Carlo, with air conditioning, disc brakes, electric clock, full wheel covers, powered by a 350 V-8 engine for $3,699, and a Mercury Comet, “the better small car”, for $2,217.

     Gift ideas advertised for Father’s Day included colognes and after shaves such as English Leather, Old Spice, Brut 33, British Sterling, Black Belt, Jade East, and Tabac Original. One store advertised briar smoking pipes for $5.

     If one went to the Apple Valley Cinema they saw “Promise at Dawn” a pre WWII drama starring Melina Mercourt, or the dark comedy, “Little Murders”, starring Elliot Gould, and Marcia Rodd, set in a crime-ridden New York City neighborhood in the late 1960s. There was also “Little Big Man” a western starring Dustin Hoffman, who played an elderly man recounting the fanciful days of his youth.

     On June 16th a large barn on the farm of Seth Steere (located on Steere Road in Greenville) was lost to fire. It was said the glow of the flames could be seen for miles.

     On June 18th a group of local citizens established a community theatre group known as the Apple Valley Players. The following officers were elected at an installation dinner: Nancy St. Pierre, president; William Johnson, vice president; Donna Nicholson, treasurer; and Grace Gebhart, secretary. Plans were announced for their first production to be performed at Waterman’s Beach Club on July 23-24th. It was to be the first time summer theatre was to be performed in this area.

     The Apple Valley Junior Women’s Club elected new officers. Mrs. William Stamp was elected president; Mrs. Jerome Butterfield, vice president; Mrs. Anthony Simeone, treasurer; Mrs. Lloyd Thomas, corresponding secretary; and Mrs. Paul Levesque, recording secretary.

     The Smithfield Elks Lodge inducted forty-six new members which was the largest induction in the history of the lodge.

     In Smithfield Little League news, the Greenville Hardware Nine defeated the Christansen’s Dairy team of North Providence 6 to 5.

     From June 29th to July 4th the Smithfield Jaycees held a carnival at Waterman’s Lake in an area now occupied by housing. Entertainment included rides, Karate demonstrations, trained dog acts, a pig chasing contest, an egg throwing contest, a watermelon eating contest, and nine parachute jumps from airplanes in which the skydivers landed in the lake, and of course, fireworks.

     A “deluxe stereo system” and two bicycles were raffled.

 

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