Jamestown Historical Society

Tag: Jamestown History

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Polish couple settles into life at West Ferry

Among the men who served at Fort Greble and stayed to become a Jamestown resident was Antoni Piliski. He was born in late 1874 or early 1875 in an area of northeastern Poland that had been annexed by Russia in the late 18th century.

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Stillman Saunders on the beach at his boatbuilding facility in Saunderstown
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Saunderstown man picks fight with ferries

Stillman Saunders on the beach at his boatbuilding facility in Saunderstown, circa 1905. Unhappy with the ferry service across the West Passage, he launched a rival company in 1906 to compete with the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company.

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Bunch Island in the Sierra Leone River, 1784
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Slaves linked to Africa

In 1816, Ormand Remington of Jamestown told the Newport Town Council that he “was born on the coast of Africa and brought into this country by Captain Robert Stoddard, [a Newport slave trader], when he was about 12 or 13 years old.”

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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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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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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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