Peninsula Enterprise, March 11, 1899


reprinted from Cape Charles Light.Fields -- FertilizerTransportation -- Railroad - Freight

Over fifty cars of fertilizer have been delivered at Bayview this season, and receipts at the other stations on the N.Y., P. & N. Accomack and Northampton have been proportionately heavy so that it is fair to estimate that between 600 to 800 car loads of fertilizer have been received by our farmers this season.


Transportation -- Water - Wrecks

Ten men were drowned by the sinking of the tug James Bowen, of Philadelphia, about four miles from Hog Island last Tuesday.


Transportation -- Railroad - Steamboats

The hull of the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad's burned steamer Cape Charles, now lying at Thomas' railway, Berkeley, has been sold by the Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding and Engine Works, of Chester, Pa., which built the boat, to the Standard Oil Company for a freight steamer. The New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad is now having drawn in Philadelphia plans for a new steamer to take the place of the Cape Charles. She is to have a speed of twenty knots per hour.


Transportation -- Railroad - Other

The New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Company is preparing to construct a steel bridge at Pocomoke Station to replace the old wooden structure which now spans the Pocomoke river. The new bridge will cost about $75,000 and be completed May 1.


Transportation -- Water - WrecksInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving serviceSea -- Shellfish - Clamming : SeasideSea -- Shellfish - Clamming : PricesTransportation -- Water - StrandingsWeather -- Snow stormsSea -- Finfish - Catch : Rock


Steamer Tomesi, bound from Norfolk to New Jersey, went ashore Sunday morning south of Chincoteague bar. Capt. J. B. Whealton and force of Wallops Island Life Saving Station went to the rescue and took off steamer, Captain and crew of eight men. She is a total loss and the wreckage has been sold at public auction by Capt. W. C. Bunting.

Clams, shipped form this point, sold in New York market last week for $12.00 per thousand, the highest price ever paid for them from this place or probably any other.

Schooner May Gertrude, of New Jersey, came into Tom's Cove, on the night of the 6th, with main boom broken, both topmasts carried away and otherwise damaged.

Sloop Bell, of New Jersey, went ashore on Assateague Beach, during the night of the 6th and her crew was rescued by Assateague Life Saving force. She will be saved.

Sloop Mascott, Capt. Parker, loaded with oysters from James River for this place, after losing her rudder and being otherwise damaged, sunk in Tom's Cove last Tuesday. Her crew was rescued by Capt. N. B. Rich and crew of Assateague Life Saving Station. The oysters have been taken off of her and sloop raised.

Schooner Helen, after losing both her jibs, reached Tom's Cove in safety last Monday night.

Fine rock and other fish are now being caught in our waters.


Fields -- Livestock - Cattle Transportation -- Road - ConstructionTourists and sportsmen -- Field sports - Hunting : Waterfowl and shorebirdTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Horse racing

Fair Oaks.

Rotten potatoes killed two valuable cows of Mr. James R. Bull this week, and at one time he expected to lose three others made sick by eating them.

Mr. J. T. Burton has completed the new road from Nock's branch to Fair Oaks and it looks as though the right man had the job. The road will be a great convenience, the distance from the seaside to this place being shortened by at least two miles.

During the recent blizzard, a flock of wild geese spent the day in Mr. J. N. Turlington's field. They walked leisurely about, but seemed to know how to take care of themselves. Our sportsmen could not get close enough to kill any of them.

Mr. Fred Thomas, of this vicinity, has a Lee Cuyler yearling colt, which he offers to match with anybody's colt, for a trot of quarter mile, for nice suit of harness.


Fields -- Crops - CabbageFields -- Crops - Other vegetablesWeather -- Snow stormsInfrastructure -- Public : ChurchesTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Music


There has been for several weeks in this town a great scarcity of vegetables. Cabbage, turnips, parsnips and the like are in great demand. The wonder is that some of the farmers do not prepare to supply the wants of the town market through all seasons. The late cold weather deprived us of turnip greens and kale, which usually come in from the country in good quantities at this time of the season.

After a day of beautiful weather on last Monday, during which much energy was given to industrial and business pursuits, we had another severe change. We were aroused during the night by a howling storm. At day-light we looked out upon a booming, shrieking western gale with millions of tiny flakes scudding before. The thermometer had take a sudden dip to eight degrees below the freezing point. It was a forceful reminder of a few weeks since. It seemed that the posts and trees would soon again be up to their knees in snow.

Carpenter work on the improvements of the M. E. Church, South, has suspended for a time pending the arrival of more material and another deposit of coin with which the machinery must be greased.

The Steamer Pocomoke made harbor during the blizzard on Tuesday night and, consequently, was ten hours late at her dock here on Wednesday, where she remained till next day. She brought a very heavy cargo.

The chief topic for several days has been the musical entertainments which were furnished by Leo Wheat on last Friday and Saturday. They were well attended by the music-loving public. The performances upon the piano of that genius in music were "glorious," as generally termed. The audience was held under the spell as he gave masterly expression to the various compositions. His performances gave remarkable proof that the classics embrace, not only the difficult compositions, the very mistaken "fad" of the average musician, but some of the national airs of this country and the songs of sweet sentiment of easy arrangement. The last named class appealed fully to the emotions of the hearers, are satisfying, have stood the test of time -- are classic.


Weather -- Snow stormsTourists and sportsmen -- Field sports - Hunting : BirdFields -- Crops - White potatoes : AcreageTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Horse racingInfrastructure -- Commercial - Real estate


The snow last Tuesday killed many of the birds in this section.

A large acreage of round potatoes will be planted here this year, but peas in small quantity.

Mr. E. J. Ames disposed of his fast trotter this week for a fancy price.

Dr. J. H. Hiden has purchased a very pretty lot of Mr. H. C. Walker and will erect a handsome residence on it this year.

Our schools were closed last Tuesday on account of the heavy snow and we also had no mail that day. One of our streets was completely blockaded.


Weather -- Snow stormsSea -- OtherDisease


The blizzard of Tuesday caused a very high and disastrous tide on the bayside which did much damage.

Muskrat trappers and shooters on the bayside killed and captured during the late storm from 500 to 600 muskrats. One gentleman reported that he killed seventy.

The principle topic in our town of late has been the chicken-pox-small-pox case, which in the judgement of our people has been very badly handled. The Board of Health doctor delayed so long in reaching this place that he found the patient out on the woodpile, and when he gave his decision in the matter, it amounted to nothing. He supposed it was what the local doctors said.

Fire in Onancock.

Infrastructure -- Public : Fire companiesInfrastructure -- Utilities - Water

A serious fire occurred on Thursday morning at 7:30 o'clock in the storehouse occupied by L. L. Winder & Co., grocers, on North street, four doors from Main. The accident seemed to have been caused by a break in the chimney as it passed through the ceiling of the upper floor. The whole roof and ceiling were burned.

When the alarm was given the fire had made great headway -- was rushing through the roof to a height of several feet. Soon the hose from the waterworks was turned on and after a hard fight of about an hour they succeeded in quenching it. Messrs. Winder & Co., moved most of their stock out in the street, but much of it was damaged by water, and otherwise, to the extent of a few hundred dollars. No insurance.

The second floor was occupied as a dwelling by Mr. Walker, a workman in Matthew's mills, and his wife. Their goods were badly damaged by water.

The building is the property of Mrs. Margaret Keaton. Damage covered by insurance.

The work of the hose was complete in the protection of the other buildings in the close frame range -- not a spark caught elsewhere. It is thought safe to state that but for the waterworks the entire range, and other buildings, about thirty-five in number, would have been destroyed.

Our Oyster Industry.

Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : DredgingSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Planting

MR. EDITOR: -- Please publish in the next issue of your paper my experience in the oyster business. I have been frequently asked to give my views in connection with the oyster industry. Since dredging has been stopped in Pocomoke Sound oysters have become scarcer on the rocks now than when dredging was allowed. Notwithstanding dredging has been stopped fifteen years, these oyster beds have not been worked. They have been laying in a dormant state, have not had cultivation, and have been covered with sea-weed and coral. They want stirring up and cultivation before they will take a young growth of oysters. Before dredging was stopped we had plenty of oysters in Pocomoke Sound. When the oysters became so scarce that it did not pay to work on a certain rock, the dredger went to another one where they were more plentiful, and these rocks that they had worked on would take a young growth of oysters in every case. But some people have said to me, Capt. Marsh, if what you say about rocks taking a young growth be correct, why have not the rocks in Onancock creek taken a young growth? My answer to that question is this, and I know what I am talking about: If rocks are worked in the spring the spawn is more apt to stick, because the shells have been stirred up and they are clean. Our oyster rocks where dredged on, March, April and to the 15th of May, I will warrant will have a young growth on them. At one time we had plenty of young oysters that were dredged in the spring, now we hardly ever see a boat dredging in the spring. Most of the dredgers stop at Christmas or a little later. Consequently when the time comes for oysters to spawn, the shells are full of mud, moss and coral and the spawn cannot stick to the shells. Now I want to relate a circumstance that happened once: Capt. John E. Evans, in October, planted 500 bushels of shells and the following spring a vessel dragged ashore in Chesconnessex -- the vessel was ballasted with oyster shells, and the first of May they threw the shells overboard to lighten the vessel so as to get her off. The shells that Capt. Evans put out in the fall never had any young growth to my knowledge, and the shells that were thrown overboard in the spring had a solid young growth in three months. The reason we do not have more young oysters is because we do not work the rocks in the spring. I have been told that some of our oyster rocks in Pocomoke Sound, since dredging has been stopped, have entirely disappeared. They have sunk and, unless something is done to pull out the shells from the mud, no doubt they will finally disappear. Ask persons that have been successful in planting oyster shells, and they will tell you that the best way is to put them in piles; the spawn is more apt to strike them; that is another thing in favor of dredging. In dredging the dredge is apt to rake up the shells in piles and the spawn is more apt to strike. When an oyster spawns, the spawn is adrift in the water, and common sense tell us that it is more apt to strike a hill than a valley. I have not an axe to grind in this matter; I am 72 years old, I have not a vessel; I never expect to dredge nor have it done, but if dredging these rocks will increase the oysters, why not repeal the law and let the people dredge them? I do not mean to dredge rocks that are in shallow water. I would propose a law for all boats under ten tons belonging in Accomack county to dredge in Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds, that part of these sounds being in Virginia, in the months of March, April, and to the 15th of May, and by so doing I believe that we would soon find our oyster rocks full of young oysters, and then the poor man would have a chance to make some money. The poor man with a small outlay could build himself a boat so as to dredge or scrape for oysters. The poor man has not the money to take up oyster ground and pay taxes on it and buy shells and oysters to plant. A great many have boats and the State would derive a much larger revenue than it does now. I hope our people and representatives will give this serious consideration.



Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Maryland-Virginia boundarySea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcement

Governor Lowndes, of Maryland, has made a most singular request of the Governor of Virginia. He wants him to release citizens of Maryland, now in our jail under indictments for "feloniously taking oysters in Virginia water," and to restore to the former owners, the two boats now held by the State authorities, in which the felonies were committed -- and with these ends in view the request is made by him of the Governor of Virginia for an investigation. The Executive of Maryland makes the request too with the knowledge, which is not disputed by citizens of his State even, that the men now in our custody were caught depredating upon our oyster rocks and thereby puts himself in the position of asking immunity for felons and restoration of the property in which they committed the felonies. In other words, the Governor of this State is asked to protect criminals in another State in a way which he could not do in his own State if a like request was made of him. Nor is this all. The bateau, Water Lilly, one of the boats which the Governor of Maryland will ask to have restored to the claimant, belonged to a man, whom, we are advised, is an old offender against the laws of the State and who with others of the same name and family have made themselves notorious as depredators in the waters of the State.

Of course the Governor of Virginia cannot comply with the request which, after the investigation, the Governor of Maryland will make of him, or even advise the Court to do it under whose jurisdiction the Marylanders and their boats are held. The Governor, at least, is clothed with no such authority and any attempt on his part to exercise any such prerogative cannot be too severely rebuked by the people of the State and should, we respectfully submit, be ignored by the Court which has jurisdiction in the matter.

That the Marylanders in our custody did depredate on our oyster beds, there is no question, and that being admitted, was it wrong, if the Virginia police boats, did cross the line in pursuit of the law-breakers as it is claimed they did? The Richmond Dispatch answers the query in the following: "We are clearly of the opinion that such a course ought not to be adopted, except in extreme cases, but the right of pursuit of law-breakers has been the subject of many international controversies, and our recollection is that it is admitted in exceptional instances." If the Dispatch is right, it cannot be denied, that the parties in custody, caught in the act of taking our property as they were, furnish the "exceptional instance" which would warrant us in crossing the line to capture the men and the boats, engaged in plundering us, and even if we did not have the right to cross the line, there is no question, we believe, of our right to detain criminals, who practically admit that they are guilty of the offenses with which they are charged. Maryland has no right to demand that we give up the prisoners or their boats and Virginia, because of the friendly relations which exist between the States, has no right to accede to any such demand, if it has been or shall be made hereafter.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
March 11, 1899