Narragansett News for July 20, 1888

A selection of news items from the Narragansett Times for Friday, July 20, 1888.


A new Mosler safe has just been put into the office of Greene’s inn.

A large party of Baltimore people are among the recent arrivals at the Gladstone.

Quincy Ford of Boston is back in his old position as assistant clerk at the Mount Hope house.

William Gallagher, late of the Magnolia hotel, Florida, is steward this season at the Revere.

George J. West and family of Providence are among the recent arrivals at the Mount Hope house.

W. A. Cooke of New York, late of the Vendome, New York, is this summer clerk at the Mathewson.

Increase of business at H. W. Partelow’s market has necessitated the employment of another cutter.

The Hon. C. M. Ramsay of Scotland has been visiting Mrs. William R. Garrison at Waverly cottage, Earlescourt.

Judge Walter S. Cox of Washington is among the recent arrivals at the Continental. He is accompanied by his daughter.

C. B. C Clarke, of the well-known cigarette and tobacco house of W. Duke’s Sons & Co. of New York, is stopping at the Tower Hill hotel.

Major Hoyt Sherman of Des Moines is at the Atlantic. He is a brother of senator John Sherman and also of general William T. Sherman.

Elliot Slocum, one of the best-known of Detroit’s leading citizens, is again spending the summer at the Pier as a guest at the Rockingham.

Henry de Poyster and family, one of the old Kinckerbocker stock of New York, have engaged rooms at Oakes Tower Hill hotel for the season.

Frank Watson has just put up a handsome gilt sign, the work of A. T. Edwards, that extends nearly across the entire front of his pharmacy.

The billiard room at Greene’s inn has just been fitted with a fine combination pool and billiard table, designed for the use of the guests of the house.

A. B. Patterson, a prominent young banker of Chicago, is spending a short vacation with his brother, the genial cashier at the Mount Hope house.

Edwin Sands of Boston is the new superintendent of this division of the Adams express company in place of Mr. Sperce, transferred to another division.

C. E. Boon has in process of preparation his cottage list at Narragansett Pier, which has grown to be an indispensable article during past summers.

Landlord Burns of the Rockingham is again gaining the same reputation he had while at the Delavan of making his house a headquarters for military guests.

The district council evidently intend to reap quite a harvest for the district from the billiard and pool table licenses according to the rates they have fixed.

Admiral Le Roy and wife of New York are among the recent arrivals at the Gladstone. The admiral is one of the oldest officers on the retired list of the navy.

H. M. Boies of Scranton, Pennsylvania, arrived with his family at their “Snug harbor” cottage, on Ocean avenue, the same that they occupied last summer.

The steamer Florence, from Providence, brought thirty-two young men from that city on pleasure trip. Two or three of the party were under the influence of Rhode Island prohibition.

The antique swinging sign in front of Greene’s Inn was placed in position on Saturday, and attracts much attention. It bears upon its surface a handsome stag’s head on either side with the name of the inn.

Mrs. Dr. G. H. Wynekoop, who occupies the Tin-y-coed cottage on Central street this summer will keep up the pleasant custom which she inaugurated last year of receiving on Mondays, afternoons and evenings.

A life-saving apparatus consisting of double life preserver belts with cord to attach, has been placed on the beach by Francis S. Kinney of New York, for use in case of any possible emergency that may occur.

W. S. Lee, the New York florist, who has opened in the new building on the corner of Beach place, has a window filled with handsome hydrangeas of the most lovely tints, that attract no small amount of attention from passers-by.

Lieutenant B. A. Fiske of the United States cruiser Atlanta is spending a few days with his wife at the Atlantic house. The Atlanta has recently been ordered to join the European squadron and is fitting out for that purpose.

A dinner party was given at Sherry’s on Sunday evening by Mr. and Mrs. E. Pollock of New York, in honor of president Clark of the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad. Covers were laid for eight and the menu was one that only Sherry and his assistants can devise. There were present besides the host and hostess, and Mr. Clark, Mr. Rice of New York, Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Talbut. Mr. “Ned” Culkley and Miss Baugher.

Mrs. Florine Thayer McCray of Hartford, Conn., is spending a portion of the summer at the Mathewson. She is characterized as one of the clever and rising young literary women of the day. Mrs. McCray is the author of “Environment”, and the biographer of “Distinguished American Women,” now appearing the Ladies Home Journal. She is now engaged in the autobiography of her illustrious friend and neighbor Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her many friends predict for her a brilliant future in the world of letters.

The book written by Miss Esther Bernon Carpenter of Wakefield, entitled, “South County Neighbors,” has been a successful venture. It is a study of Narragansett social life of the past generation. Her descriptions are so well drawn that the best literary critics have very generally given the book unqualified commendation. She had undertaken a difficult task in her attempt to preserve the quaint characteristics and the peculiar words and expressions of these old-time people, and she deserves the approval the work has received. Copies, in either cloth or paper, may be obtained at the news stands.

Now the thrifty hand organ grinder reaps a harvest of nickels around the hotels.

The assessors of the district of Narragansett will hold their first meeting August thirteenth.

Rev. J. E. Bushnell of Rye, New York, will preach at the Presbyterian church on Sunday.

Captain J. W. Wisser of the regular army is among the recent arrivals at the Rockingham.

W. E. H. Whaley has a new barn nearly completed on the site of the one recently destroyed by fire.

A drunken man, named Patrick Flynn, was arrested by officer Elmer E. Clarke early on Monday morning.

Louis F. Bell & Co., have contracted to build a house on the Sprague farm for the use of the water works diggers.

A new sign ornaments the front of the flower store of W. A. Lee. Albert Edwards is responsible for the same.

Rev Robert Lowry, DD, rector of St. Thomas chapel, New York, preached at St. Peter’s church on Sunday.

A wagon now runs regularly from the Pier to Sherry’s new restaurant west of Earlscourt.

Bass fishing is reported good. E. W. Davis and Ned Gavitt have taken twenty-four in the last four days and all of fair size too.

A party of menhaden fishermen working close inshore Tuesday afternoon were objects of great curiosity to the sightseers on shore.

Ernest L. Caswell, bookkeeper for the Barstow Stove company, Providence, is spending his vacation with his parents, Mr and Mrs. S. T. Caswell, jr.

J. Hilles of Baltimore, who with his family are stopping at the Gladstones, is prominently connected with coal and mining business throughout the south.

An exchange says that Brander Matthews gets one hundred dollars for a Century article and spends three hundred for a dinner to celebrate the event.

Mrs. Stephen Cook of Wickford is visiting her sister, Mrs. S. H. Carpender of Peace Dale. Mrs. Cook is in her eightieth year and very active for one of her years.

Edmund Lewis, the well-known Philadelphia artist, is expected at the Narragansett house about the first of August. Mr. Lewis has been a guest at that house every year since 1857.

The cellar and foundation are ready for the new cottage to be erected for Brander Matthews, the well known author, on the lot purchased by him on Central street last summer.

Officers Wilcox and Clarke arrested George H. Davis for drunkenness on Monday night. Tuesday morning he was taken before judge Nathan B. Lewis at Wickford and sentenced.

Mr. Knapp, the genial cashier at the Mathewson, astonished his office associates this week by appearing without his usual hirsute appendages. Their removal made him almost unrecognizable.

The new cottage of architect Hornblower of Washington is nearly finished and ready for occupancy. It differs entirely from anything in the cottage line at the Pier and will evidently make a very pleasant summer cottage.

The steamer H. S. Caswell still continues as popular as ever as a means of reaching Newport. There were a large number of Pier guests who took advantage of the calm seas Tuesday to enjoy the sail over and back on the Caswell.

E. W. Davis, who arrived home from a fishing and hunting trip in Nova Scotia on Monday, brought back with him a black bear cub, which is said to be as frolicsome as a kitten and makes lots of sport at “Scarborough.”

The Penobscot Indians, who have for several years made the Pier a headquarters during the summer, have arrived and set up their encampment just north of the bathing houses, where they will manufacture and sell their baskets and other articles.

Among the recent arrivals at the Narragansett house are: — P. Greene, Mrs. E. M. Babbett, Providence; Henry G. Woolcott, Fishkill-on-the-Hudson,; Mrs. G. W. Comstock, Miss Comstock, William G. Edgar, G. W. Comstock, Miss Bessie Compbell, New York; Mrs. M. Stewart, Miss Daisy Stewart and maid, Washington.

The explosion of a kerosene lamp in one of the toilet rooms at the Delavan nearly caused a conflagration the other evening, but it was fortunately discovered in time by Mr. Chandler, and with the assistance of this boarders speedily put out. Mr. Chandler says: no more kerosene lamps, electric lights will be good enough in the future.

The work of changing the electric light wires to the new locations of some of the lights is going on rapidly. Besides these changes there to be at least two lights on the beach and probably three on the “rocks,” although the advisability of placing lights on the “rocks” is very much in doubt, as it is believed that there are other places in and about the Pier where some of the extra lights could be used to better advantage.

Dr. Gardner T. Swarts of Providence, as been at the Pier the past week busily engaged in making a sanitary inspection of the Pier in the interest and as the agent of the state board of health. Among the points that he is especially probing into is the water supply in different sections of the Pier, in order to determine whether there is any possible chance of contamination of the supply from cesspools, drains or vaults. The state board being evidently inclined to look more sharply into such matters since the trouble last year at Jamestown. The doctor however as yet found little to find fault with here.

The American Telephone and Telegraph company have reached the Pier with their lines and have put in two long distance telephones. The station here is in the Homogansett branch store. John R. Nugent, the general inspector of the company, visited the Pier yesterday to see that everything was in working order. By this line a person can speak with New York as easily as with Providence under the old system. The charges to Providence are a trifle higher than the other system. Connections can be made from the Pier with New York, Philadelphia, Albany, Troy, Saratoga, Springfield, Long Branch, Worchester, and other points, and the lines are being rapidly extended to cover all important points in New England.

The Daily Times is enjoying a very prosperous season.

The greyhound schooner, the Sachem, lay off the Pier during the afternoon Wednesday and was admired by all. She is one of the handsomest sailing yachts that visits the Pier besides being the fastest schooner in the world. Although she carried yesterday the colors of the New York yacht club she is still owned in Rhode Island

The first installment of the pipes for the new waterwork was expected Thursday, as the vessel was lying in Dutch Island harbor Wednesday waiting for a coal schooner to go out before she comes in. The pipe will probably be laid westward from the corner of Kingstowne road and Beach street. The mains are to be twelve inches in diameter, and the pies in cross and side streets not less than four inches, and most of them six and eight inches in size. The mains will be put in first from the Pier to the stand pipe and reservoir on Tower Hill.

The Narragansett Electric Light and Power company was organized here on Saturday/ A temporary organization was effected by electing Edward Earle as chairman and John B. Kearney as secretary. The charter establishing the company was accepted and the following board of directors were elected: Edward Earle, William C. Clarke, J. B. Kearney, John Babcock, Dr. John A. Wilcox, and Thomas G. Robinson of Boston. The latter gentleman is a representative of the Thompson-Houston company. A meeting of the board of directors was held Tuesday, and John Babcock was elected president and John B. Kearney secretary and treasurer.

Council Report.

The council held another adjourned meeting last Friday afternoon, all the members being present.

A license was granted Samuel Niles for a victualling house. Fee, ten dollars.

Edward Earle, William G. Caswell and P. O. Littlefield were appointed a commission to recommend what roads should be opened and built, in pursuance to a vote of the taxpayers authorizing the same, and Messrs. Sprague, Mathewson and Tefft of the council will form the order on which the committee will act.

Voted that the Wakefield Water company be granted a right to lay pipes in the highways of the district with provisions for guarding private rights. Messrs. Sprague, Mathewson and Tefft were to form the orders in relation thereto.

The electric light matter was continued to an adjourned meeting this afternoon.

The regular monthly meeting of the district council was held in the police station on Beach street Monday afternoon, all the members being present.

The bill J. R. Wilcox of $3.62 from committee on accounts was allowed, also another bill for $6.65.

It was voted that the Clark road, so-called, from Ocean Road to the old Point Judith road, be made passable, and that two hundred dollars be appropriated for the same.

The bill of B. F. Wilcox for $12.04, for repairing plank walk was referred to committee on accounts.

Bill of the secretary of state for certified copy of act authorizing issue of bonds was also referred.

The petition of Dwight L. Weeden and others in reference to sewerage matters was continued.

S. W. Mathewson and William Sprague were appointed a committee to make passable the highway leading from Beach street to the beach , with power to contract.

H. N. Knowles and W. Herbert Caswell were appointed a committee to procure necessary books and papers for use of the assessors.

Webster brothers were granted license to keep one billiard and one pool table.

John F. Perry was granted a license to keep two billiard tables.

L. A. Briggs was granted a license for a victualling house.

It was voted that a contract be made with the Narragansett Electric Light and Power company for twenty-five arc lights, for twelve dollars per light per month for two months; lights to be located under direction of the committee from the council, with the privilege of extending the time by payment of a proportionate advance.

The council then adjourned until Monday of next week at three p. m.

A Great Surprise
Is in store for all who use Kemp’s Balsam for the Throat and Lungs, the great guaranteed remedy. Would you believe that it is sold on its merits and that any druggist is authorized by the proprietor of this wonderful remedy to give you a sample bottle free? It never fails to cure acute or chronic coughs. All druggists sell Kemp’s Balsam. Large bottles 50c and $1.

Don’t Give Up
because you feel blue and are troubled with that tired and all-gone feeling. Do as I did, use a bottle of Sulphur Bitters, it will make you feel like a new person; it did me.

Notes to 21st century readers:
— “Judge Walter S. Cox” — Walter Smith Cox (1826 – 1902) was a federal judge (United States District Court for the District of Columbia) who presided over the trial of Charles J. Guiteau, the assassin of President Garfield. He was also a law professor and Dean of George Washington University Law School.
— “A life-saving apparatus… by Francis S. Kinney of New York. Yes, this is the Francis S. Kinney who eleven years later would build Kinney Bungalow at Sunset Farms.
— Mrs. Florine Thayer McCray” — She did go on to write that book about Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was a best-seller in 1889 (The Life-Work of the Author of Uncle Tome’s Cabin) and copies of various editions (including a 2008 reprint) can be found on Amazon.
— “Miss Esther Bernon Carpenter” — Her book (South-County Neighbors) is available from Amazon and is also available for free online reading or download. She begins by saying “THE busy life of the South County of to-day still keeps certain wholesomely rustic phases of its leisurely yesterday. But in choosing the subjects of my character-studies I have generally preferred to set back the hands of the town-clocks until they pointed to the time of forty or fifty years ago, when everybody’s hobby was ridden bared-backed, and when freaks and oddities of individuality flourished unchecked by an upstart civilization.”
— “Edmund Lewis, the well-known Philadelphia artist…” — Edmund Darch Lewis (1834 – 1910) was a painter of the Hudson River School, noted for his oils and watercolors. Here are some of his works via — you may be especially interested in seeing his “Narragansett Pier in 1888.”
— “Brander Matthews, the novelist” — Mr. Matthews as been mentioned multiple times this summer (as well as twice in “today’s” edition). James Brander Matthews (1852-1929) was an American writer and educator. He played a key role in establishing theater as being worthy of formal academic study and was the first full-time professor of dramatic literature in America (at Columbia). In addition to academic books (about drama, writing, language, and collected essays) and an autobiography, he wrote a number of novels and collections of short stories. His novels and plays are forgotten today but he was a literary celebrity in 1888.
— “architect Hornblower” — Joseph Coerten Hornblower (1848-1908) a partner in Hornblower & Marshall with James Rush Marshall, designers of numerous government and other buildings, many of which are on the US Registry of Historic Places. They designed the National Museum of Natural Science (part of the Smithsonian complex on the National Mall in Washington, DC).
— “William Sprague” — This is, of course, William Sprague IV (1830 – 1915), of the wealthy Sprague family. Governor of Rhode Island at age 29 (1860 – 1863) and U.S. Senator (1863 – 1875).