Jamestown Historical Society

Author: Steve

Conanicut Club
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Yacht Club Exhibit

The Conanicut Yacht Club was founded in 1892 and is one of the oldest yacht clubs on Narragansett Bay. This month’s exhibit in the JHS case in the foyer of Town Hall celebrates the many activities of the club.

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Governor Carr pennant from the maiden voyage, February 1927
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Governor Carr Ferry

The Governor Carr carried passengers and vehicles across the East Passage between Jamestown and Newport from 1927 through 1958.

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The Jamestown on Narragansett Bay
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Ferryboats from Virginia

For 78 years, from 1873 to 1951, the town of Jamestown through the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Co. provided transportation between Conanicut and Aquidneck islands.

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Manuel Nerona’s Ferry Mailbox
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Ferry Mailbox

Manuel Neronha Sr. was born in 1907 and came to Jamestown as a child. As soon as he was old enough, he went to work for the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company.

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Cars wait in line at East Ferry to board the incoming ferryboat to Newport in the 1960s. The ferry, aside from driving through Providence, was the only way to get to Aquidneck Island until 1969.
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Ferries Known for Long Lines

Before the Newport Pell Bridge was completed in 1969, the only way to get from Jamestown to Newport was to take the ferry or drive through Providence.

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Jeanne Bunkley Self Portrait
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Jeanne Bunkley

Jamestown artist Jeanne Bunkley (1918-2012), shown here in a self-portrait, captured the character of Jamestown in her two series of charcoal sketches that she called “Men of Jamestown.”

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JHS Museum Grand Opening 1
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2023 Museum Exhibit Opening Reception

On May 26, the 2023 JHS Museum opened a new exhibit, “Celebrating Jamestown Ferries: 150th Anniversary of Jamestown’s First Steam Ferry”. JHS members enjoyed a reception highlighting the anniversary of the first steam ferry going into service in Jamestown in 1873.

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Ferrying across bay once a dangerous duty

Dinah Battey, of Jamestown, 20, married her husband in 1711. Six days after her wedding, on the sailing ferry home from Newport, the boat capsized, and she tragically drowned. Little was more dangerous in Colonial Rhode Island than crossing the bay in ferries.

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