From the Narragansett Times for Friday, March 30, 1888, we present a description of “The Inauguration Meeting” of the (male) voters of the new district plus some of the typical “local” news items for Narragansett Pier.
The Inauguration Meeting
There was a large and enthusiastic gathering of residents of the newly incorporated district of Narragansett held at the Metatoxet house on Wednesday evening. This meeting was the result of a conference of citizens held last week, who decided that some expression should be made of gratitude and thanksgiving over the successful termination of their efforts for the division of the town, as well as to fittingly inaugurate a new district. At that meeting a committee was appointed consisting of J.A. Tucker, William G. Caswell, Elisha D. Browning, H.N. Knowles, W. Herbert Caswel, George W. Browning, Charles J. Tucker, and E.S. Taylor, jr. Wednesday was chosen as the occasion on which to celebrate the event, and about half-past seven o’clock the Narragansett cornet band J.F. Clark leader, formed on the square and marched to the Metatoxet house, where they were received amid a grand display of fireworks under the charge of H.C. Gardiner. A large number had already gathered to listen to the outdoor concert and witness the fireworks. At the close of the display the party repaired to the spacious dining hall of the house, which was well-filled, over two hundred being present. The exercises commenced by W. Herbert Caswell escoring ex-governor Sprague to the chair and introducing him in a few well chosen words to the assemblage as the toast master of the evening, amid applause and the band playing “Hail to the chief.
Governor Sprague in responding said: “It is quite approprieate in inaugurating a new town or division of a town that a divine providence should be appealed to,” and called upon Rev. C.H. Tindell to open the exercises with prayer. At its conclusion the toastmaster announced that the collation was in readiness and requested all present to fill the inner man as speedily ast possible and a plentiful repast was served consisting of sandwiches, cakes, and hot coffee, the band rendering several find eslections in the meanwhile. After cigars had been passed, the post prandial exercises were opened by ex-governor Sprague, announcing as the first toast of the evening “The politics of the district of Narragansett,” responded to by J.H. Caswell, who said that he thought it strange that they sould call on the boys first, before the old men had a chance. He spoke of his exprience in politics for about thirty years, and expressed the hope that there would be no politics in the district of Narragansett — no party, — but union for the advancenet of the interests of the Pier. “Politics does not mean the best men for the offices but those who would make the largest vote.” Mr. Caswell closed hoping that all citizens of the district would unite to elect the best men to the offices in their gift.
The next toast was “Mechanical improvements,” responded to by H.N. Knowles, who spoke of the constrast and improvements in buildings at Narragansett within his recollection, closing with the hope “That in our civil buildings we may select the best of material and build our edifice true and level, one that will stand for future ages.”
The next was “Amusements,” responded to by W.A. Nye who contrasted the amusements of the past with those of the present, and outlined plans for the future.
The toast, “Local government was next responded to by William G. Caswell. “Good local government is what we most need. Upon you the cisizens of this new district depends the good government of the future. Take you best men for your local offices and we will be governed nicely.
“Narragansett in the past,” was responded to by Charles W. Yost, who gave personal reminiscences of the Pier twenty-five years ago.
“The press,” responded to briefly by F.G. Ferry of the TIMES.
“Progress of Narragansett,” called out interesting remarks from James H. Rodman, who went back to the primitive days in the Pier’s history.
The toast, “Our schools, brought out some able remarks from T.T. Tucker, who illustrated how the schools of today must be the safeguard for good government in the future. He gave a description of Narragansett in the past and urged that the schools of the present and future meet with generous support.
The next toast was “Our homes and our government,” responded to by Rev. C.H. Tindell, who detailed many of the reasons that have led so many to seek summer homes in Narragansett. “We are all interested in our homes and it is for our interests to have good government to sustain our homes.” He saw a decided benefit in the narrowing limits. The home he said is the centre of all government and we should enact such laws as will best protect our homes. He broached the idea of holding such gatherings as these oftener for interchange of opinion; but thought it would be wise next time not to leave half our homes at home. Bring the women of Narragansett here with us.
The toastmaster in introducing the next speaker said that whatever or whoever makes a community laugh is a benefactor and called upon Charles Thurber to respond to the toast “The breakwater.” Charles wandered fro his text but got back to the breakwater once in a while amid much laughter. He coled by seriousl comparing the beauties of the Pier with those of the Pacific coast.
The closing toast of the evening was “Narragansett and its furture,” responded to eloquently by ex-governor Sprague, who said he was always an enthusiast over this place. It is the finest location on the east line of the country. No spot is more suitable to restore and invigorate wasted forces. Now united and vigorous effort is needed to promote the common weal. No individual progress is ever permanent if in opposition to the common weal. Harmony is he first requisite. The better plan is to seek the men for our officers, not take the office seekers. Reflectively the old town will share in the benefist from the advancement of the district in the future. He showed some of the responsibilities resting upon citizens of the district. It was an earnest appeal for good government. Other spakers who responded briefly were Frank W. Robinson of Wakefield, J.A. Tucker, George W. Browning, S.A. Smith, W.E.H. Whaley and W. Herbert Caswell.
The meeting was most harmonious in the sentiments expressed and in the desire for unity in the upbuilding of the prosperity of the district. A unanaimous vote of thands was extended the toastmaster of the evening and the assemblage adjourned after another pleasing selection from the band.
Captain S.T. Caswell is having his Central street cottage newly painted.
S.S. Tefft is moving this week from the Sea View house to his new residence on Narragansett avenue.
There is very slight improvement, if any, in the condition of “Uncle Esbon” Taylor since last week and he is still dangerously ill.
E.C. Champlin, who purchased the Atwood bath houses last year, will add another story to them and make other improvements.
New floors of hard pine are being laid in the McSparran hotel. Work is rapidly progressing on the addition and the gas piping is being put in.
J.A. Tucker’s new cottage on Central street, which is to be occupied this summer by Mrs. Harrison of Baltimore, has been christened “Mapplehurst.”
Considerable work is being done on the interiour of the Massasoit house this spring. A number of rooms are being thrown en suite and other changes are being made.
Alex Carter died at Velitia, New York, recently. He was for two years coachmean and footman for Reckless Charlie on his photographic wagon.
Any Doubters of the need of better roads are invited to ride over the road between the Pier and Wakefield at the present time. For a part of the way the mud is nearly hub deap..
A meeting of the citizens of the new district of Narragansett has been called to meet at the old bowling alley on Beach streat on Saturday evening at seven o’clock to discuss matters pertaining to the welfare of the district.