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History Bytes

History Bytes: Honora Pyne

One of the oldest gravestones in St. Joseph’s Catholic churchyard on Barney Street was made for Honora Pyne (1765-1835), an Irish immigrant from Charleston, SC. The daughter of O’Brien and Margaret Smith, she was born in Tavistock, Ireland. She and her husband John Pyne emigrated to Charleston in 1808 and prospered as plantation owners.

Detail of stone cross found in Barney Street cemetery.

Detail of stone monument in St. Joseph’s cemetery on Barney Street.

As a widow, Honora moved to New York City. She died in Newport in August 1835, probably while visiting such Southern friends as the Middletons, Izards, and Pringles.

History Bytes: Ice Harvesting

As Newport emerges from this year’s ice age, the fresh water ponds will start to thaw. During the coldest years of the last century, the ponds provided ice for Aquidneck Island residents. Cut into 24 x 30 inch blocks, the ice was hauled into large ice houses, packed in straw and piled five layers deep. Trucks and small railcars transported the ice to stores and houses year round, which was sold for ten cents a block.

Above: A c.1900 photo of a Middletown ice house from the NHS collections.

History Bytes: Easton’s Beach Pavilion

When the temperature finally rises above freezing, thoughts of the beach will come to mind. The Pavilion at Easton’s Beach was built in 1887 by the firm of Peabody & Stearns. In 1902, with the help of private donors, the facilities were enlarged and assumed the appearance of a Mediterranean Villa, complete with bath houses, restaurants, a merry-go-round and roller coaster. All buildings were swept away during the Hurricane of 1938. Most of the present structures date to 1992.

Above: Color postcard of Easton’s Beach, circa 1930.

P5604 Easton’s Beach Pavilion, Peabody & Stearns, circa 1900.

P9780 “Refreshment Stand & Dairy Bar [Newport Creamery]”; taken by City of Newport’s Recreation Department, 1957.