Jamestown Historical Society

Town Hall: License Exhibit

This exhibit has passed. Click here for current exhibits.

The new exhibit mounted by the Jamestown Historical Society in the mini-exhibit case in the foyer of Town Hall features licenses and license applications from the JHS collection. The earliest application, from May 24, 1760, is a handwritten application from William Hazard for permission to sell “strong & spiritous liquors” from his home.
One hundred and seventy-four years later, the second liquor license to be issued in Jamestown after the repeal of Prohibition similarly allowed J. H. Bowen, who owned the Harbor View Inn and the White Nook restaurant on Conanicus Avenue, to serve alcohol. Also on display are a variety of other licenses for various activities on the island.
A handwritten application from William Hazard for permission to sell “strong & spiritous liquors” from his home.

William Hazard was born in 1721 in North Kingstown, settling in Jamestown where he married Phebe Hull in a Quaker ceremony in 1744. He represented the town in the General Assembly and was a warden and Overseer of the Poor.

In 1760 there was a ferry from Long Wharf in Newport with a mate ferry on a wharf in Jamestown. It was located north of today’s East Ferry walkway and just south of the “Watering Place”, where a spring and rivulet were found. This was reserved as a watering place by the proprietors and a four-rod road was laid out along the shore, leading north along the water from Ferry Road (now Narragansett Avenue). Nearby was a blacksmith shop, a hen house, and William Hazard’s ferry house, from which he sold his “strong and spiritous liquors.” In 1761, he sold his ferry license.

A liquor license was issued in Jamestown after the repeal of Prohibition to J. H. Bowen, who owned the Harbor View Inn and the White Nook restaurant on Conanicus Avenue.

Visit the Town Hall to see the entire exhibit and please consider donating your Jamestown memorabilia to Jamestown Historical Society, contact info@jamestownhistoricalsociety.org.

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