Peninsula Enterprise, February 25, 1893


Transportation -- Water - StrandingsSea -- Wrecking

The schooner Oakes Ames, Captain William Cropper, which went ashore at Wachapreague early in January, but later floated and went into the inlet, arrived Sunday at Norfolk. The vessel is in good condition; she lost but one hundred bags of salt, the same having been thrown overboard to lighten her.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Insurance companies

Belle Haven.

Mr. Samuel A. Pitt, of Baltimore, General Manager of the Peninsula Mutual Life Association, is here in the interest of same.


Sea -- Shellfish - Clamming : SeasideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideTransportation -- Water - FreightTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Resorts


Our oyster market still holds up and our harbor is full of boats waiting for good weather to be loaded with oysters and clams.

Several sportsmen from the northern cities are now stopping at the Atlantic Hotel and expect to remain here for several weeks.


Sea -- Shellfish - Crabbing : BaysideFields -- Crops - Sweet potatoes : Seed and slipsfields -- Crops - White potatoes : Seed and slipsWeather -- Freezes


John W. H. Nock, of Assawaman, has decided to go into the crab business the coming season at Guilford. To that end he has purchased a lot at Bloxom's upon which he will build a residence soon.

Our potato raisers are almost afraid to look into their seed kilns for fear of the probable result. Those of them fortunate enough to have preserved their seed potatoes are smiling all over their faces. Very high prices are expected to prevail both for sweet and Irish seed potatoes.


Transportation -- Water - FreightFields -- FertilizerInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial construction


Steamer Pocomoke is carrying much grain to Baltimore now.

Large quantity of fertilizers being sold by the Onancock merchants this week.

Work on Mrs. Merrill's large store is being rapidly pushed by contractors Waples & Latham.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - GroceriesInfrastructure -- Commercial - Drugstores


In the near future there is to be opened here a dispensary where drugs of all kinds will be dealt to his friends by an experienced pharmacist. The proprietor will also have attached a fancy grocery.

OYSTER BEDS OF VIRGINIA PLUNDERED. Thousands of Bushels of Oysters Stolen.

Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : PoachingSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : PricesSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcement

The following dispatches from a correspondent of the Baltimore Sun, present at the scene of operations of the oyster depredators may be accepted as authentic, and by the evidence of their own witness a case is made, showing how like thieves in the night they came and robbed us:

CRISFIELD, MD., Feb. 16.

About twenty oyster boats are lying in the harbor of Crisfield, with their sails up, ready to start for Woman's Marsh at 10 o'clock tonight. The oyster captains have banded together to resist arrest. The boats are principally from Baltimore. They claim that Woman's Marsh is a part of this State and that they have been defrauded of their rights. This oyster ground is adjacent to Smith's Island, and the people of that place cannot now tong on an oyster rock which was always used by them before the year 1887. If any blood is shed, the oystermen say, it will be upon the heads of those who have given the rights of the people of this section to Virginia.

CRISFIELD, MD., Feb. 17.

About 2,000 bushels of fine Virginia oysters were landed at Crisfield this morning by the boats, about twenty in number, which left at 10 o'clock last night and spent the entire night dredging on the oyster ground called Woman's Marsh. Captain Reed, of the Virginia oyster police force, was anchored at Horse Hammock, about a half a mile from the dredgers, but made no effort to discourage them in their work. It is remarkable to see how the boats can stay on an oyster rock during the night. They get a range from the light of the boats anchored along the shore and from the light-house. One of the fleet last night was run into during the dark and had her jib carried away. The boats culled off in the harbor today.

There are only five men aboard the Virginia police schooner, and it is probable they did not covet an engagement with the Crisfield fleet during the night. The Maryland Fishery force will give Virginia no assistance in protecting the Pocomoke oyster ground. If the people of this section had a right to tong there, they would feel a common interest in protecting it, but they believe they have a right to get back a part of what was unjustly taken from them. The oystermen will visit Woman's Marsh again tonight.

The oyster market has been dull. Good oyster have been bringing 60 cents per bushel.

CRISFIELD, MD., Feb. 19.

A bloodless victory was gained last night by the Virginia fishery force over the dredgers. As it was generally known that the dredgers had brought up all the ammunition in Crisfield, a reporter of The Sun determined to board one of the vessels and see the contest which seemed inevitable. Taking a bateau, the reporter reached Old Island, where the oyster fleet was anchored. The bateau was rounded alongside of a trim pungy and a few words were sufficient to make the captain understand the reporter's mission. The boats of the little fleet were lashed together and the captains were in the cabin devising plans for the night. It was thoroughly understood that no boat was permitted to be captured.

At 8 o'clock the oyster dredger started and at 9:30 o'clock the first dredge was thrown on Woman's Marsh. No attempt was made to cull the oysters. They were simply shoveled in as caught, to be culled at leisure when harbor was reached. It was impossible to see very far during the night and the boats were only kept on the rock by constant throwing of the lead. No lights were displayed. The work was in full progress and the dredges were coming up full of oysters, when suddenly a loud crash and two boats came into collision. One was pretty badly damaged and had to give up dredging for the night.

Hardly had the excitement caused by this accident subsided when word was passed from boat to boat that the police schooner was coming. Captain Reed, of the Virginia State fishery force, however, had caught the oyster boats on the right tack and their dredges were thrown again. Then a cannon ball whizzed across the deck of the vessel on which the reporter was a passenger. Captain Reed shot his cannon three times and then began a fusillade with small arms. The oyster-boats spread all sail and fled. The police schooner was no match for the swift pungies, and at 11 o'clock they were all safely anchored in White cove. Each pungy had from three to four hundred bushels of oysters in board, the result of the hazardous night's work. As these oysters will be culled in Maryland, this State will get the full benefit of the cull law.

Judging from this incident it must be conceded that Virginia can only protect the Pocomoke oyster grounds near the line with the co-operation of Maryland. The two States should have common fishing rights on these bottoms. It has been rumored in Crisfield that Capt. Reed had gone in search of the steamer Chesapeake, of the Virginia fishing force, as he finds that he is no match for the intruders. Sympathy is entirely with the dredgers.

Today even the sails can be seen of boats which are at work. One large pungy has just entered the harbor of Crisfield with every available space filled with oysters, the fruits of Sunday dredging.

It is thought here that a severe conflict between the dredgers and Virginia oyster navy must come sooner or later. How soon it may come cannot be known, but the captains of the oyster dredging vessels seem determined that no man shall interfere with them and have openly avowed their intention of sinking the Virginia police boat before one of their number shall be taken.

The dredging fleet will be largely [illegible] Monday night, as a [illegible] have gone to market [illegible] with their loads and will [illegible] the ground by Monday [illegible]. CRISFIELD, MD., Feb. 20.

On account of the heavy wind the dredgers were unable to visit Woman's Marsh last night. Captain Reed of the Virginia fishery force, is still lying in Horse Hammock. The dredgers who have been on shore to-day stoutly maintain their right to dredge on this oyster ground. The question has been raised as to whether the captain of a police schooner has the right to shoot a man while trying to capture him. It is stated that taking oysters from forbidden grounds can only be considered petty larceny, and that an officer has no right to shoot a person who is detected in this crime.

The Baltimore Sun is being warmly commended in this section for the news in regard to the dredging on Woman's Marsh.

Eastern Shore Agricultural Fair.

Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fairs

The sixteenth annual exhibition commences August 15, 1893, and continues four days.

February 15th, 1893, being the first annual meeting of the Board of managers of the Eastern Shore Agricultural Fair Association -- composed of G. H. Adair, W. T. Fleming, G. W. Elmore, Sr., G. W. Elmore, Jr., Dr. John W. Kellam, J. T. Bull, W. M. Turlington and T. T. Wescott -- the following officers were elected for the year 1893: G. H. Adair, President, T. T. Wescott, Secretary, and Dr. John W. Kellam, Treasurer.

The Board Managers with great unanimity of purpose have entered upon the arduous labor of preparation for the approaching sixteenth annual Fair, with a fixed determination to strive to avoid any blunders which we may have made hitherto.

Our change of time is due, to a great extent, to avoid coming in conflict with our county court, thereby removing the hindrance to the attendance of those who were heretofore compelled to be at court.

With grateful acknowledgements to the public generally, for what they have contributed towards the success of the Fair in the past, we most earnestly appeal to them again, for renewed efforts in contributing still more liberally to every department, thereby enabling us to keep pace with this progressive age. The past unprecedented success which has crowned our efforts has been largely due to the active co-operation of our people.

Again we would remind you that it is your Fair, and can be only what you make it. Now let us agree to make the coming exposition of 1893 far excel anything of the kind the Eastern Shore has hitherto witnessed. With however much satisfaction and pride we look back to the past, there are still greater and higher ends to be attained, therefore, we agree to covenant anew with you, to exercise our greatest zeal in endeavoring to more fully develop and utilize our vast resources, thus reflecting that credit which we know is due to the skill, energy and industry of the noble people of the Eastern Shore.

While we are very grateful to all for what they have done for the success of the Fair in the past, let people and committee combine in all directions, to contribute towards enabling us all to look back to the Fair of August 15th, 1893, as crowning the climax of all our past efforts.

Mr. Editor, you are, and have been an important factor, and we ask you to lend us a helping hand.

Very respectfully, T. T. Wescott, Secretary.

G. H. Adair, President.

Call of Fruit Growers.

Farmers -- Farmers' organizationsProfessionals -- Commission merchants

The fruit growers of Accomac and Northampton counties are requested to meet at Onley, on Wednesday, March 8th, 2 o'clock p. m., to consider the action taken by the commission merchants of the northern markets, that in the future all berry crates will be sold with the fruit. Representatives of the Philadelphia and New York Markets are expected to be present. Other subjects of vital interest to fruit growers will be discussed. If that day should be inclement, next fair day.



Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Poaching

The dispatches from a correspondent of the Baltimore Sun, published in this issue of the ENTERPRISE, show acts of lawlessness on the part of citizens of Maryland which should be condemned by good citizens everywhere. In defiance of the lawful authorities of the State of Virginia, as will be noted, citizens of Maryland deliberately band together and subsequently carry into effect plans made to take and carry away the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The place of their depredations not being in the Pocomoke Sound, as the corespondent of the Sun ignorantly asserts, the felony committed by them in taking our oysters is without the extenuating circumstance, therefore, even of being caught in waters to which they falsely lay claim under the compact of 1785, for the oystermen of Maryland it is safe to assert, are not as ignorant as the correspondent is in the matter and know that Woman's Marsh is in Tangier Sound -- waters which no one has ever questioned was in the limits of Virginia. Of course they know that they have no rights on Woman's Marsh in Tangier Sound and no reputable citizen of Maryland whose opinions are entitled to respect, has ever or will now assert that he has any right to catch the oysters in those waters, and the only interpretation to be put upon the conduct of those who by brute force have defied the Virginia authorities and caught them is, that they wanted our oysters and were willing to steal them if they could not get away with them in any other way. That the citizens of Maryland generally approve of the depredations of citizens of that State upon territory of Virginia to which they have no color of right even, we cannot believe, the opinion of the correspondent of the Sun to the contrary, notwithstanding. If the epithets applied to the Maryland oyster dredgers seem unjust, then we respectfully submit they are justified by the facts in the case. Men who have rights do not generally under cover of nightfall, as they did, only assert them, or "spread their sails and flee" as they did when pursued. Of course they have no rights in Tangier Sound and it has been equally proven by publications in this column that their claim to Pocomoke Sound is not only unsupported by facts but in the opinion of the best legal talent of Maryland, in the past and at present, entirely without foundation, and the citizens of Maryland might as well, therefore, realize the situation and in that spirit of comity which should exist between the States unite with us in endeavoring to punish offenders from their State who violate our laws instead of threatening us as many of her citizens seem to do, that unless we surrender our rights to them that we need not expect their co-operation in the that respect.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Newspapers

Two new printing presses have recently been put in the ENTERPRISE office, and we can now say without fear of successful contradiction, that we have the best equipped printing office from Wilmington, Del., to Norfolk, Va. To meet the demand upon us two more compositors have recently been added to our force, and we are prepared now, we believe, to give our patrons not only one of the best printed, but one of the best local papers in the State of Virginia. In making our improvements too, especial attention was given to fitting up our job department, and we can now furnish our patrons, on short notice, anything in that line, neatly executed, and at prices lower than the best city rates.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 25, 1893