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Smithfield, RI Weather

50 Years Ago

July 1966

By Jim Ignasher

On July 4th through the 9th, the Greenville Volunteer Fire Department held its 17th annual Firemen’s Fair in an open field on Route 44 at Waterman’s Lake. (Today, that field is occupied by condominiums.)

The fair was held each year to raise funds to purchase equipment. Attractions included kiddie-rides, a Ferris wheel, games, food concessions, a massive bon fire, and a fireworks display.

And there were raffles. The grand prize of 1966 was a brand new Ford Mustang! (Such a prize would still be well worth winning today.) New boy’s and girl’s bicycles were also raffled.

Meanwhile, the Town of Glocester held its 34th Ancient And Horribles Parade.

The YMCA Camp on Colwell Road held a “kamp carnival” to help support YMCA service worldwide. Activities included boating, swimming, pony rides, archery, darts, balloon blowing, hiking and a watermelon eating contest.

Airman Robert J. Mitchell of Greenville was selected to attend Air Force Police training school at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Seaman Recruit Alan G. Mackiewicz of Greenville completed basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

Army Specialist Thomas R. St. Jean of Stillwater was promoted to Specialist 4th Class.

Private Kenneth Walker of Esmond was appointed as an engineering instructor at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

People’s Savings Bank was offering 4.75 percent interest, compounded quarterly, on their savings accounts.

It was in July of 1966 that the Smithfield Police Department obtained their current phone number, 231-2500. The change was necessary due to more lines (Extensions) being added to the station, which by the way, was located in the town hall in Georgiaville. Residents were urged to take note in case of an emergency. (Does anyone remember what the old number was?)

To help people remember the new number, stickers containing fire and police emergency numbers were distributed to all households to be placed on the telephones.

Five members of the Smithfield Junior Jaycees took part in a BB-gun shooting contest at the U.S. Jaycee International BB-Gun Championships held in Dayton, Ohio. They were, Laei Carey, John Fanning, Larry Dionne, John Capparrille, and Kevin Battey. Their coach was John Tucker.

On July 8-10, Greenville Boy Scout Troop 4 took a canoe trip down the Ossipee and Saco Rivers in Maine, and hiked up Mt. Monadnock for an overnight camping trip on July 23-24.

Members of the Junior 4-H Club presented hand-made stuffed dolls to the children’s ward at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital. They included, Delores Esposito, Deborah Imbruglio, Sherry Wambolt, Karen Boyes, Jane Imbruglio, Barbara Plante, and Constance Boyes.

As the weather got warmer, the stench of raw sewerage in the area of Smithfield’s new high school became a problem, and a frothy scum coated the waterway behind the building that flows to Mountaindale and other parts of town where residents could potentially go swimming. Five-hundred irate citizens signed a petition demanding town council members to do something about “the deplorable odor”.

Some thought it might have something to do with the school’s leach field, but such was not the case. Apparently someone had been emptying raw sewerage from septic service trucks causing the pollution. The dumping area was covered with gravel and treated with chlorine, and a deeper channel was dug in the waterway to increase water flow.

The Greenville Grange, which was formerly the Greenville School, once stood in the heart of the village facing Austin Avenue just in from Putnam Pike.

On July 15, vandals broke in and caused considerable damage to the building and its contents. Grange members had recently re-furbished the old building, and were in the process of preparing to landscape the outside when the crime occurred. It was stated that police had several suspects in mind.