50 years Ago – February, 1970

50 Years Ago – February, 1970  

 

1970

    The Bryant University campus is home to one historic barn and two 18th century houses which in February of 1970 stood exactly where the dome of the Unistructure is located today.  As construction preparations for the Unistructure were underway the buildings became the center of some local controversy.  The school had originally planned to move the structures to another location on campus so as not to look out of place amid the modern architecture, but some felt they should remain where they were.  Then the possibility arose that they might be sold at auction and removed from Smithfield all together.

     On February 5, members of the Smithfield Town Council and representatives of the historical society met with Bryant officials at the Town Hall, where an agreement was reached to retain the buildings on campus, but not at their original location.

     Today the buildings can be found on the campus portion of John Mowry Road.   

     1st Lieutenant Anthony J. Fascitelli, Jr., of Greenville, was serving in the U. S. Air Force.

    Airman 1st Class James P. Coupe of Greenville, was serving at Da Nang Air Force Base in Vietnam.

     PFC Howard R. Turner, Jr., of Esmond, was serving with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam.

     Sergeant Lea T. Lariviere of Georgiaville, had finished a tour of duty in Germany and was home on leave.  

     The Junior Naval Cadets of Smithfield announced the following promotions:

     Thomas Howarth to full lieutenant.

     Stephen Votolato to Distinguished Cadet.

     Dennis Straight and Paul Arella to Senior Cadet 1st Class.  

     Robert Varr to Senior Cadet 2nd Class.

     Keith Straus and Dennis Henlin to Senior Cadet 3rd Class.

     Gregory Straight to Cadet 1st Class.

     Richard Cardarelli and James Bicknell to cadet 2nd Class.

     Thomas Straus, Michael Barfato, and Robert Ferguson to Cadet 3rd Class.   

     Esmond Girl Scout Troop 894 held a meeting at the Esmond Recreation Hall where the following girls were made official Girl Scouts: Pamela Shaw, Karen Despres, Deborah LeBlanc, Danielle Desautel, Kathy Richardson, Diane DeCessere, Donna Cooke, Marilyn Maltais, Mary Sward, Beth Cerroni, Linda Parks, Marion Passano, Julie Cerroni, Laura White, Mary Webster, and Melony Sheppard.    

     The Smithfield Golden Agers held a meeting over which Mrs. Albina Whitecross presided.  Hostesses included Stella Hill, Mary Cardello, Ann Ethier, Blanche Belhumer, and Mae Creighton.    

     The Apple Valley Chorus placed 2nd in the annual Division IV Competition held in Norwood, Massachusetts.  The win made them eligible to compete in the Northeast District Competition in October. 

     The Apple Valley Chorus was directed by Roger Jordon. 

     One local car dealer was offering for sale a 1966 Ford “Country Squire” station wagon – remember them?  The vehicle was equipped with a luggage rack, 2-way tailgate, radio and heater, power steering and a V-8 engine with automatic transmission, all of which were dealer options at the time.  The price, a mere $1,495. 

     The same dealer was also offering a ’67 Mustang for $1,595, and a ’68 Lincoln for $3,395.

     A local oil company was advertising 200 gallons of heating oil for $30, plus tax, and cash on delivery.  For those doing the math, that came about seven cents a gallon.       

 

 

 

50 Years Ago – December, 1969

50 Years Ago – December, 1969

    U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Wilfred L. Noiseux of Esmond was honorably discharged and returned home after serving two-and-a-half years in Vietnam with the 3rd Marine Division.

    PFC Allen H. Uttley of Greenville was home on a14-day furlough. 

     On November 29 a fire of broke out at the Greenville Grange Hall which was located on Austin Avenue just in from Putnam Pike.  Thanks to the quick actions by firemen the building was saved, but it had suffered significant damage to its interior.    

     The building had once been a school, and one item of historical interest that was rescued while flames still threatened the structure was the large bronze school bell still hanging in the belfry.   

      While it served as a school, classes for grades 1 – 4 were held on the first floor, and grades 5 – 8 were held on the second.  The classrooms were heated with wood stoves.        

     Graduations were simple affairs as the classes seldom numbered more than five or six.  The school closed when the William Windsor School on Route 44 opened in the 1930s.

     The former Grange Hall remained standing into the early 1980s before giving way to “progress”.  Today a row of small businesses occupies the land.

     As for the historic school bell, it has survived, and is today displayed at the Winfield Funeral Home in Greenville.  If one looks closely at the bottom rim they will notice a few chips – “battle damage” suffered during its rescue as it was dragged from the fire.

     On December 12 the Reservoir Rangers Drum and Bugle Corps held their third annual Christmas party at the Balfour-Cole American Legion Post.  Sixty members of the corps and their parents attended.    

     Two DJ’s, Jim Pride, and Mike Sands, from radio station WICE broadcast their show live from the party, and gave away twelve long playing records, (Known as “LPs” in the 1960s) as prizes.

     On December 13 several inches of snow fell over the area, clinging to trees and creating a “winter wonderland” lending to the look of Christmas.  

     On December 14 the town held two events in celebration of the Christmas Season.  The first was the annual tree lighting ceremony held at 4:45 P.M. on the Greenville Common where a Nativity had been erected by the Apple Blossom Club.  The program included short addresses by church leaders from St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Greenville Baptist Church, and St. Philips Catholic Church, followed by Christmas carols and refreshments.  The tree was lit by Senator F. Monroe Allen.

     The second event was held at 7 P.M. at the Town Hall which had been decorated with lights and wreaths, as well as a Nativity on the front lawn.  Santa arrived on the back of a Georgiaville fire truck and distributed small gifts to children while adults sang Christmas carols and enjoyed refreshments. 

     Both events had been timed so that citizens from both sides of town could attend each of them.

     A meeting of Slack’s Pond residents was held where it was voted that the name of their association be changed from the Blue Gill Derby Association to the Slacks Reservoir Improvement Association. 

     Bryant College, (Now Bryant University), unveiled its plans for the new Tupper Campus to be built on “Memory Hill” on Douglas pike. The public was invited to view architectural drawings and models of the Unistructure and dormitories that were to be constructed.      

     On December 19 and 20, the Smithfield Drama Club presented “Kaleidoscope 70”, a song and dance variety show, at the Smithfield High School.  

     On the night of December 24th, NORAD radar control reported tracking a strange aerial object circling the globe while stopping briefly at every home. Military jets were scrambled to intercept and identify, but the mysterious aeronaut seemed to keep one step ahead, and was never sighted. One doesn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to solve this X-File.

    Merry Christmas.   

 

 

 

Map of Bryant College – 1980s

Map of Bryant College – 1980s

Click on image to enlarge.

50 Years Ago – September, 1968

50 Years Ago – September, 1968

     Incoming freshmen at Bryant College were invited to a “down on the farm’ barbeque at “Memory Hill”, the future site of the Bryant Unistructure. Students were introduced to faculty and administrators. These students would graduate in 1972, the year the Smithfield campus opened.

     Army Specialist James J. Motta of Georgiaville was discharged from the army after completion of his service in Vietnam.

     Staff Sergeant David M. Balfour Jr. of Esmond was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service as a crew chief aboard an F-4C aircraft in Vietnam.

     Angus Bryant of Mountaindale Road completed his tour of duty in the U.S. Air Force.

     Army Specialist John M. Cullen of Greenville was serving in Vietnam.

     Airman Jeffrey R. Sweet of Greenville completed basic training for the U.S. Air Force, and would be assigned to Logistics Command at Chanute Air Base in Illinois.

     Seaman Apprentice Ernest F. Littlerick, Jr. of Greenville completed basic training for the U.S. Navy.

     A carnival to benefit muscular dystrophy was held at 103 Dean Avenue in Esmond by Karen Shea, Joann Cunningham, Jeris and Cheryl Noducci, Kathy Wyatt, Polly and Marie Parsakian, and Bill Kerwin. A total of $48 was raised.

     The Maplewoods neighborhood in Greenville was still under development. A two-story garrison colonial on Peach Blossom Lane was advertised at $25,600. The home featured a two-car garage, fire place, 1.5 baths, and a walk out basement.

     Speaking of construction, two Greenville youths, Robert Lyons and Donald Morse, built a five story tall tree house behind a home on Beverly Circle. A photo was featured in a local newspaper.  

     In September of 1968, the television shows 60 Minutes, Adam-12, Julia, and Hawaii Five-O aired for the first time.    

     On September 15 the Smithfield Raiders pre-teen football team went to North Attleborough to play the Plainville Packers. The Raiders won, 27 to 13.  

     On September 17 the St. Michael’s Ave Marie Guild elected new officers. President: Mrs. Rose Farnsworth, Vice President: Mrs. Jemny Arruda, Recording Secretary: Mrs. Ann Tobin, Treasurer: Mrs. Joanne Serapiglia, Corresponding Secretary: Mrs. Marion Drummond.

     On September 18 People’s Bank at the Apple Valley Mall held their grand opening. The public was invited to stop in and receive a free lollypops and balloons, and to register to win a color television. (The TV was won by a couple from North Providence.)

     The bank also offered the choice of “a rugged all purpose lantern”, a wool blanket, or a “handsome” 21-inch plaid suitcase, to anyone who opened a new account.    

     On September 20 Cub Scout Pack 43 of Greenville held a meeting.

     On September 26 the East Smithfield Homemakers held a meeting at the Esmond Recreational Hall.

     On September 28, Smithfield launched a “town wide cleanup” spearheaded by the Conservation Commission. The program was scheduled to run through November 9.

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