Real estate developers, Narragansett, R.I.
Size: 1 linear foot
Catalog number: MSS 483 sg 31
Processed by: Steve Dalpe and Rick Stattler, March 1999
©Rhode Island Historical Society
The Narragansett Improvement Association was incorporated in 1920 by summer residents of the seaside resort of Narragansett Pier, R.I., and was a stock venture intended to renovate parts of the town damaged by a 1900 fire. Although some of buildings had been rebuilt, such as the famous Casino Towers, the prestige that Narragansett Pier once held had faded. The Association tried to establish their own police force, to encourage visitors to use bath houses rather than changing in their cars. More substantially, the Association also purchased property and developed it for profit. By 1921, it owned most of the property along the beach, and had torn down "the eye-sore shacks and hot-dog refectories that cluttered up the board walk." It was dissolved in 1929.
Isaac E. Emerson (1859-1931), a Baltimore resident and owner of a Narragansett hotel, was the president of the Association for its entire existence. Thomas G. Hazard Jr. (1862-ca.1951) of Narragansett, a distant cousin of the Peace Dale Hazards, served as secretary and treasurer; Rowland Hazard III (1881-1945), then residing in New York, was vice-president for a time. Rowland Hazard's brother-in-law, Rush Sturges (1879-1967) of Providence, served as legal counsel.
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Scope and content:
This collection consists of Thomas G. Hazard Jr.'s personal files regarding the Association. The largest portion is official correspondence as secretary and treasurer. There are also stock records and a small amount of financial records. Though there are no minute books in the collection, copies or drafts of many minutes have been compiled in one folder. No account books, ledgers or cash journals have been found for this corporation.
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These papers were donated by the Hazard family as part of the Hazard Family Papers in 1985. They had been deposited in 1975. It is uncertain how the records came into the hands of the family. Thomas G. Hazard Jr., who generated these records, was a resident of Narragansett, and only a very distant cousin of the Hazards of Peace Dale. As Rowland Hazard III's surviving personal papers cover the same time span, it is very possible that he had gathered these files from Thomas G. Hazard Jr. upon the company's dissolution.
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This collection is part of the Hazard Family Papers, which were processed with support from the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Beinecke Foundation, and the extended Hazard Family.
The original organization of the correspondence files has been retained; incoming correspondence is interfiled with copies of Thomas G. Hazard Jr.'s responses, and correspondence with Rush Sturges and Isaac Emerson is filed in a separate series.
A large map of the Pier by the firm of Hyde & Shepherd dated November 18, 1920, embellished with watercolors, was transferred to the Graphics Division, as was a blueprint plat map of the area dated September 15, 1925.
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Series 1: Correspondence
Series 1, subseries 1: General. To and from Thomas G. Hazard Jr.
Box 1, folder 1. 1920. Almost all payments for stock.
Box 1, folder 2. 1921
Box 1, folder 3. 1921, continued
Box 1, folder 4. 1922
Box 1, folder 5. 1922, continued
Box 1, folder 6. 1923
Box 1, folder 7. 1924
Box 1, folder 8. 1925
Box 1, folder 9. 1926
Box 1, folder 10. 1927
Box 1, folder 11. 1928
Box 1, folder 12. 1929
Series 1, subseries 2: Isaac Emerson. Letters between Isaac Emerson and T.G. Hazard Jr.
Box 1, folder 13. 1920
Box 1, folder 14. 1921. Also letters of reference on behalf of prospective lessees William Parker and Ralph Wells.
Box 1, folder 15. 1922
Box 1, folder 16. 1923
Box 1, folder 17. 1924-1925
Box 1, folder 18. 1926-1927
Box 1, folder 19. 1928-1929
Series 1, subseries 3: Rush Sturges. Letters between Rush Sturges and T.G. Hazard Jr.
Box 1, folder 20. 1920-1921
Box 1, folder 21. 1922-1925
Box 1, folder 22. 1929
Series 1, subseries 4: Rowland Hazard III.
Box 1, folder 23. 1922
Series 2: Miscellaneous
Box 1, folder 24. Audit, 1921
Box 1, folder 25. Bonds with Isaac Emerson, 1921-1926
Box 1, folder 26. Circular letters to stockholders, 1920-1925
Box 1, folder 27. Financial reports, 1921-1929
Box 1, folder 28. Financial memoranda, 1920-1929
Box 1, folder 29. Leases, agreements and notes, 1920-1923 (includes copies of earlier deeds)
Box 1, folder 30. Meeting notices, 1921-1929
Box 1, folder 31. Minutes, 1920-1929. Incomplete drafts and copies.
Box 1, folder 32. Mortgage papers, 1921
Box 1, folder 33. "Objections to the Narragansett Casino", undated.
Box 1, folder 34. Receipts, 1921-1928 (incomplete)
Box 1, folder 35. Report: "What Narragansett Needs", by architectural firm of Hyde & Shepherd, 1920.
Box 1, folder 36. Stock proxies, 1921-1929
Box 1, folder 37. Stock certificate receipts, 1920-1924
Box 1, folder 38. Stockholder lists, 1921-1927
Box 1, folder 39. Taxes - Rhode Island taxes and annual reports, 1921-1929
Box 1, folder 40. Miscellaneous:
Draft of letter to Narragansett Town Council, requesting street parkingInsurance policy, undated
List of persons receiving prospectus, 1920-1921
Newspaper clipping on Association, 7/1/1921
Narragansett Bathing and Clambake Club, 1926-1928
Order to pave sidewalks, 1928
Petition and order for receivership, 1929
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Bathing beaches - Rhode Island - Narragansett
Emerson, Isaac E. (1859-1931)
Hazard, Rowland (1881-1945)
Hazard, Thomas G. Jr. (1862-ca.1951)
Narragansett Bathing and Clambake Club
Real estate development - Rhode Island - Narragansett
Sturges, Rush (1879-1967)
Summer resorts - Rhode Island - Narragansett
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