Peninsula Enterprise, January 20, 1894


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Banks

At a meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank of Onancock, last Monday, about 50 per cent of the sums subscribed was paid. The bank will be open for business from the 1st to the 15th of next month.


Professionals -- Lawyers

Mr. N. B. Wescott will resume the practice of law as a member of the Accomac bar at an early day. He gave up a large and lucrative practice some years ago in Pueblo, Colorado, to return to his native county and has since been leading the life of a farmer.


Transportation -- Water - Channel and harbor dredgingTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal ordersInfrastructure -- Commercial - Real estateInfrastructure -- Public : Churches


In answer to a recent communication from N. W. Nock, Hon. W. A. Jones states that he will soon bring the proposition for deepening and widening the water way from Chincoteague, southward, to the attention of the committee on Rivers and Harbors, and will secure at once, if possible, an order for a preliminary survey of the route. We hope this long needed work may soon be under contract.

A Good Templar lodge is being gotten up here. Thomas B. Gillespie, Esq., is heading the movement. We are hoping for good results from this effort.

George Gillespie, Jr., has purchased a farm near Atlantic, and has moved upon it. John L. Rayfield was the purchaser of a tract of land near here recently sold by him.

The Messrs. Morris, recent purchasers of that elegant farm "Red Bank" near here, seem to be men of energy and good judgement. We extend to them a hearty welcome and wish them a pleasant abode, and abundant returns for their labors.

A new church will be built at "Shiloh" this summer. "Shiloh" and Hall's Chapel now constitute a separate charge, a Rev. Mr. Clement, of Richmond, being the pastor. Bethel and Mappsville Churches remain in charge of the Rev. J. L. King.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Residential constructionInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial constructionInfrastructure -- Public : Schools

New Church.

Mr. E. W. Hutchinson has moved to his residence on Main Street, where he has built additions to both his store and dwelling.

Our little school house containing two rows of seats, seven to each row, each seat made to hold two children comfortably, is full to overflowing. Fifty-three pupils answer to roll-call and the little boys are begging the merchants for nail kegs and boxes to take to the school-house in order to have something to sit on. We think it high time that our trustees and superintendent had taken interest enough to furnish us with a larger and more comfortable house, as it is so badly needed. In fact, a graded school is needed at this place.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideTourists and sportsmen -- Field sportsfield sports - Hunting : Personal injuryInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal serviceTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal orders


Notwithstanding the oyster glut in Baltimore and consequent flat prices, there have been lots of buyers here during last week loading for that market. They know good oysters will always sell and they also know where to get them.

Capt. Andrew Parks, while out ducking Saturday, fired at some ducks, when both barrels of the gun went off, the stock breaking in several pieces, one of which was driven with great force in his nose and cheek, inflicting a very painful wound.

Capt. Noah Crockett while reloading some shells recently, failed to cap one until he had loaded it, when the charge exploded, blowing off part of his hand.

Our mail communications have been quite limited for the past month or so, sometimes owing to the weather, oftener to negligence of the carrier. During last week we had but two mails, and one of those came in a day behind time. We usually have three mails a week, and it is carried from here to Crisfield by canoe, and during the winter months mail on this route is very irregular. There are so many blowy days, and the pay is only $234, (when there is an appropriation for this route of $750), that the carrier endeavors to make up for lost trips by carrying passengers, and will wait for them here until the middle of the day, the scheduled hour for leaving being 7.00 a. m. Consequently he arrives late at Crisfield and can't make the return trip until the following day. This is a nuisance and a gross violation of the postal regulations and needs inspection by the Department. The route should be by steamer. The "Eastern Shore" could touch here very easily and we could have a regular mail four times a week both to Crisfield and below.

George W. Glenn and a Mr. Lee, of Washington, D. C., were here during last week, their object being the organization of an order of Rechabites.

The Oyster Question.

Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : LegislationSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Planting

The following very sensible article on the oyster question, from the pen of Dr. George W. LeCato, appeared in the Richmond Times, of the 11th inst:

In view of the oyster convention called by the Chamber of Commerce for January 12th, following closely upon the message of Governor McKinney, there is reasonable fear that an unhealthy enthusiasm in the line of oyster revenue threatens the State. To those who view the oyster question from a theoretical standpoint the late increase of revenue may naturally lead to false assumptions and unfair and even dangerous conclusions. Certainly there are many important considerations involved, which should have due weight in determining further legislation.

With no practical knowledge of oyster culture, the inference is fair enough that a million acres of bottom at a uniform rental of $1 per acre, will yield the State a million dollars annual revenue. No arithmetical proposition could be plainer and simpler; and to the theorist, who may be a revenue enthusiast, the solution is as gratifying as logical. But, unfortunately, to the practiced oysterman it is equally plain that a large portion of this so called planting ground is absolutely worthless as oyster bottom; and that no resident, or non-resident, could be induced to plant it, even with a bonus from the State, instead of a tax. It is by no means a fact that all bottom covered by salt water furnishes suitable sites for planting grounds. There are many local conditions inimical not only to the growth, but to the life of the plant, as the oysterman often learns from expensive experience which the theorist has failed to point out. It is even more difficult for the planter to comprehend how even the marshes along the sea coast of Accomac and Northampton are to be made especially prolific, as alleged, considering they are merely high turf-banks, thickly set in coarse grass, and very rarely covered by water at the highest tides.

But, granting the assumptions of the theorist, the planter himself knows very well that to cover all these bottoms with plants is to practically impoverish to great oyster field and dwarf the whole crop by an over demand on the food supply. This fact has been too often demonstrated within the limits of local situations, and it is too plain and simple to pass unnoticed. And hence it becomes a matter of some practical importance to determine, before enthusiasm has run too far, how many acres of bottom are to be eliminated from the estimates so confidently given out, and upon which this gratifying calculation for revenue is made.

It is therefore, easy to see that progress in the line indicated by the Governor's message should at least be slow enough to be safe. There are many thousands of Virginia's citizens dependent upon this industry for their daily bread. Most of them by constant, hard toil, exposure and risk of life, are eking out scanty support. These people should not be needlessly embarrassed and distressed on the assumption of theories not maturely considered. "To foster and protect the oyster industry of the State for the benefit of its own citizens" is the manifest duty of the Commonwealth. To foster and protect it mainly in the direction of State revenue, and possibly to the extent of comprising the industry itself, both to the State and its citizens, would be poor statesmanship and poor public policy. It is even possible that undue enthusiasm on the subject may ultimately lead to serious recoil against the very theory upon which it is based. And our Legislature, charged with the grave responsibility of dealing with this question, will likely give it the serious, practical consideration the subject deserves.

The Oyster Convention.

Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : LegislationSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Planting

The oyster convention, which assembled at noon yesterday, adjourned at 10:30 o'clock last night. It is the general opinion of those who attended that the meeting has resulted in good and that many of the business men of the State have at last awakened to the sense of the importance and magnitude of the oyster industry.

When the convention reassembled at 4 o'clock in the afternoon the experts present were invited to make addresses. Capt. Baylor, of the Coast Survey, was the first speaker. He gave a plain practical talk about the survey of the grounds and made the announcement that there were 640,000 acres of bottoms suitable for the cultivation of the oyster that were now practically barren.

Mr. Henry C. Rowe, one of the largest oyster growers in the United States, made an interesting address about the cultivation of the bivalve. He said when he started the movement in Long Island sound twenty years ago, people thought he was acting in a very foolish manner. Now they call him a monopolist. He said he began the work with 100 acres, and now he was working 15,000, and was taking about 39,000 bushels of oysters daily.

Lieutenant Winslow, of Newberne, N. C., made one of the best speeches of the day, and Hon. Marshall McDonald, United States Fish Commissioner, gave an excellent address as did also Prof. Brooks, of Johns Hopkins University.

The main point impressed by all the speakers was that if the oyster was cultivated in Virginia it would become a source of immense revenue to the Commonwealth and profit to the planters. Some more interesting facts were given as to the peculiar adaptability of the Chesapeake bay for oyster planting, and the possibilities of the industry. Professor Brooks stated that since the oyster packing industry was started in 1835 Chesapeake bay had yielded 400,000,000 bushels of oysters simply from its natural crop; but with cultivation its annual yield could be made that much. The address dealt largely with the feeding of the oyster.

At the night session Mr. Orris Browne, of Cape Charles City, read a paper, and then there was a general discussion of the whole oyster question. The convention resolved to lay the information it had obtained before the General Assembly.

Richmond State, 13th.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : LegislationSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Planting

The very sensible article of Senator LeCato on the oyster question, published elsewhere in our columns, merits the careful perusal of every citizen of the Commonwealth interested in the matter. It furnishes food for reflection "to those having a practical knowledge of oyster culture," as well as to the mere theorist and both can profit by the suggestions therein contained. The former cannot deny that the oyster industry by proper legislation could be made to yield a greater revenue to the State, with benefit instead of injury to themselves, and the latter, by the exercise of a little common sense, should be able to see, as the Senator suggests, that to foster and protect it mainly in the direction of State revenue would be poor statesmanship and poor public policy.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
January 20, 1894