100 Years Ago in Warren: Child labor on the hot seat


Taken from the pages of the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in January 1913:

Quite a gale

Not for a long time has the town felt the force of the wind as on Friday night and Saturday last. It seemed as though with every succeeding blast that everything must be torn up by the roots. Huge trees bent and twisted their massive limbs like things alive. Signs and blinds crashed and banged. Pedestrians could scarcely keep their feet; impelled along the streets by the unseen power — with garments whipping, they appeared as though borne by invisible wings. Everything rocked and creaked, and groaned, till it seemed as though Old Atlas himself was emphatically protesting against the shaking. It was "a rushing mighty sound" that swept down through the tall, gaunt, elms, and every stray leaf and saplorn twig, that frosts had not shaken down were whirled into mid air to be caught by the currents and carried far from parent stem or branch. It must have been a heavy wind, blowing fiercely. At the corner of Wheaton and Water street, where there was nothing to break its force, one huge elm whose girth measured twice that of the human body, so tall that it towered into the skies was wrenched up by the roots and sent crashing to the ground sweeping fences and fruit trees in its path. Luckily no house or other building was in the way. On State street a smaller tree was broken short off, while here and there about town in varying sizes trees, branches, limbs were crushed to earth. At the bridge an electric arc light was blow away, the steel arm from which it was suspended snapping like pipe stem. There was no great financial loss reported and not much damge to the many boats and yachts hauled up along shore.

The tide was the highest seen in years and at one time Saturday morning, when the tide was running in there was a difference of twenty-one inches from the south to the north sides. It was next to impossible to stand in the teeth of the gale and look at it even.

Old settlers say that the wind hasn't blown so hard about here since the September gale of 1869, though the water did not rise so high. But it was a windstorm to be remembered, and for preference one would rather have the gentle zephyrs of summer. It was not until Saturday night that the gale blew itself out and departed for other scenes of labor.

Party at the Armory

The Warren Artillery departed from the usual custom on Monday evening and after drill was over regaled themselves in oyster stew and other good things. There was a large attendance at the armory on Jefferson street, not only were the ranks well filled but the officers turned out in good force and the artillery band was on hand to render music. The regular drill work was in charge of Capt. Howard I. Martin. During platoon formation and while the company was executed the various movements, the band under Leader Malloy played several selections. After the drill, which including the manual of arms, a fine oyster supper was served.


100 years ago


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.