Narragansett News for June 15, 1888

A selection of news items from the Narragansett Times for Friday, June 15, 1888.


The McSparran will probably open on Monday.

The electric poles on the streets are being painted a dark green.

The Delavan expects to receive its first summer guests on Monday next.

Dr. St. Clair Smith of New York arrived on Tuesday at the Metatoxet house.

Pleasant Johnson of Wakefield will be steward at the Atwood this season.

A broad concrete sidewalk has just been put down in front of the Atlantic house.

Hon. Alan McLane of Washington is expected on Monday at his villa on Ocean road.

Barnard Carter and family of Baltimore are expected at the Burr cottage on the twenty-first.

F. W. Arnold of Providence is at the Caswell cottage on corner of Central and Robinson streets.

The Misses Lockwood of New York are the first to arrive at their father’s cottage on Central street.

The Revere is expected to be open on Saturday, while the Atlantic House will open on the twentieth.

Hon. John M. Chew and family of Washington have arrived at their cottage in Bonnie Bourne park.

Sherman Rogers and family are enjoying the ocean air at their cottage on the old Anthony estate.

Joseph Dews and family of Providence are occupying C. H. Pope’s “Overcliff” cottage on the rocks.

Martin Donahoe has been granted an original pension through the agency of J. T. Northup of Wakefield.

The general assembly has voted to allow the district of Narragansett to issue bonds to the amount of one hundred thousand dollars.

Mrs. Payton Harrison of Baltimore has arrived at “Maplehurst,” J.A. Tucker’s new cottage on Central street.

The carpenters have commenced work on the erection of Mr. Hornblower’s new cottage on Central street.

Bathers are scarce as yet but within a week a number of the bath houses will be ready to receive patrons.

A. H. Blood of Ashland, Massachusetts, is to be the clerk and bookkeeper at the Continental hotel this summer.

Jeffrey Davis of Providence intends to commence at once the erection of a large cottage on his land on Ocean road.

William T. Carter and family of New York have arrived at their summer home in Pope;s double cottage on Ocean Road.

Frank Adams’ family of New York has taken possession of the new cottage belonging to S. T. Caswell on Robinson street.

H. B. Kane and family have arrived at Mr. Kane’s cottage on Central street, purchased last season of Mrs. N. K. Bishop.

A. N. Nalukian has opened his Turkish goods store next to the drugstore. He will display a larger stock this season than ever before.

H. De Coppet and family of New York arrived on Thursday of last week at their villa on the corner of Central and Mathewson streets.

John Reilley of Peace Dale is the first to start in the news business at the Pier this summer. He is already supplying all the New York papers.

Rev. W. D. Buchannan and family have arrived at the Whaley cottage on Ocean avenue. Mrs. Robert Buchanan is one of their guests this season.

D. E. Roake has opened the Bijou on Seaside avenue. He has taken the entire lower floor of the building this season and thrown the two rooms into one which gives him a far better store.

C. L. Spencer of Boston, assistant superintendent of this division of the Adams Express company visited the Pier on Wednesday. He has just been ordered to the Bridgeport division and is succeeded by W. Bangs of Boston.

An Armington & Sims engine of one hundred horse power has been already set up at the electric light station. The dynamos were expected Thursday and work is being rapidly hurried to have everything in readiness this week. It is expected that a portion of the lights will be lighted on Friday evening.

An elegant new Wheelock piano has just been put into the music room at the Hotel Columbus. The case is of eastern curled ash, a beautiful wood, far surpassing the usual rosewood cases.

R. G. Dun is enjoying a few weeks’ fishing in Canada.

The best there is made. Violin, Guitar, and Banjo strings, tail pieces, keys, bridges, and bows. Harmonicas from 5 cents up to as much as you want at George Rodman’s. — Adv.


The main hall, office and stairways at the Hotel Gladstone have been decorated during the past week and in a manner new to the Pier. New wainscoting was put in during the winter and now the walls and ceilings have been decorated by a Boston artist in what is known as texture decorations or bas relief work. The process consists in applying a coating of a putty like composition to the previously sized walls, and then this composition is worked under the facile fingers and tools of the artist into fanciful shapes and curves with ornamental panel work interspersed. After drying the whole is tinted and bronzed in different colors, and when finished the walls have exactly the appearance of being hung with heavy draperies of antique Venetian leather. Over the fire place is a panel in antique bronze and the ceiling gives a unique and handsome effect. The decorations can but please the patrons of the house, and landlord W. A. Nye has the satisfaction of knowing that he has decorations different from anything in the locality. The work was done by L. Haberstroh & Son of Boston.

The meeting of the taxpayers of the district of Narragansett to fix the rate of taxation for the ensuing year, make appropriations, and transact other business, was held at the old bowling alley on Monday. The meeting was called to order by the moderator, William Sprague, at ten o’clock. The warrant was read and placed on record. It was voted that the tax for the year for district, state, highway and school purposes be fixed at forty cents on each one hundred dollars of ratable property in the district. The following preamble and resolutions were then read:
WHEREAS, The natural advantage of Narragansett Pier as a summer resort has brought a large increase in wealth and population to this district, and
WHEREAS, It is the belief of the taxpayers of this district that by a judicious expenditure of money in public improvements the wealth and population of the district can be largely and more rapidly increased, and
WHEREAS,This future increase depends wholly upon the manner in which public improvements are instituted, and
WHEREAS, It is in the line of a sound public policy that good public roads, proper sewerage, an adequate water supply for district and fire purposes, and necessary public buildings be provided and maintained by the district, and
WHEREAS, The district is in need of and without facilities for providing money with which to institute and maintain said improvements. Now therefor
Resolved, That a committee of three taxpayers of the district be appointed by the chairman of this taxpayer’s meeting and that said committee be and hereby is given authority to petition the legislature of the state at its present session for power through the duly elected treasurer of this district to borrow a sum of money not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars in the aggregate, and to issue district bonds therefor to run for thirty years from and after date of said issue, bearing interest at a rate not to exceed five percent per annum; for power to borrow said one hundred thousand dollars of same immediately. All r any sums in excess of said one hundred thousand dollars to be borrowed only upon a majority of the taxpayers of the district at a meeting called for that purpose by the president of the council. Said call, the amount proposed to be borrowed together with the purpose for which the sum to be borrowed is to be used must be published in the NARRAGANSETT TIMES for one month next preceding the day upon which the meetings is to take place: Provided, however, that no money shall be borrowed or no district bonds issued except for the purpose of providing and purchasing the necessary machinery to make and maintain good public roads, providing and maintaining proper sewerage and adequate water facilities for district and fire uses, and for the purchase of land and erection of buildings required for district use and not otherwise.

A ballot was demanded by N. C. Peckham, jr. and others, and the box called in use. It was voted that the polls remain open until four o’clock. At that time the vote was counted and it was found that sixty-seven had voted in favor of the resolutions and twenty-four against, a majority of forty-seven in favor of the plan for bonding the district.

It was voted that the tax be assessed on the first of September and collected on of before the twentieth day of November, the same to bear interest at ten per cent, after the fifteenth day of December.

The salary of the district clerk was fixed at five hundred dollars, and that of the district treasurer on hundred and fifty dollars.

Voted the council to be the overseers of the poor.

Money was appropriated sufficient to secure the district’s portion of the state’s school money. The salary of collector of taxes was fixed at one hundred dollars.

The district treasurer was authorized to pay the district’s proportion of the state tax. He was also authorized to borrow money in advance of the revenue and give district notes for same, also to renew same when necessary.

Two dollars per day was fixed for pay for the assessors, also for the members of the district council. All unfinished business was referred to the council for action, including a resolution referring to electric street lighting, various bounties on hawks, woodchucks, foxes, etc. were authorized.

William G. Caswell, Walter S. Chopin and E. S. Taylor, jr, were appointed a committee to go before the legislature at its present session to petition for authority to issue bonds.

B. C. Pecham, jr. George G. Knowles and Horatio N. Knowles were appointed a committee with full power to act in the matter of adjustment of the financial business between the district of Narragansett and the town of South Kingstown.

The sum of two hundred and fifty dollars was voted as additional school money, after which the meeting adjourned,
If you have been drinking too much, which however, you should never do, a dose of Laxado will set you in good condition again. — Adv


If you have been reading these bits of history, you have probably noted how week after week, many of the hotels have been installing electric lights. Some were even putting an electric light in each room. In this week’s news we see that a 100 horse power generator had been installed at “the electric light station.” The twentieth century keeps coming closer and closer.

The R. G. Dun mentioned toward the bottom of the left column is Robert G. Dun, the Dun of Dun and Bradstreet. He was the owner of Dunmere on Ocean Road. As with so many mansions of the gilded age, it was lost to fire.

Regarding the salaries for various town offices: most online inflation calculators do not go back to the 19th century. And, of course, so much has changed since then. However, one online calculator that did go back that far said that $100.00 in 1888 would have the purchasing power of about $2516.34 in 2012 dollars. Looking at a different measure, the Dow Jones was at 31.2921 at the end of trading for June 15, 1888. (It is currently in the 15 thousand range.)