Peninsula Enterprise, May 16, 1885


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Real estate

Half Moon Island, off Hunting Creek has been sold by Browne, Jacob & Co., real estate agents at a satisfactory price to northern gentlemen.


Architecture -- Courthouses


The citizens of this neighborhood don't seem to be much interested in the court-house question, but think they will vote for it to stay where it is.


Fields -- Crops - StrawberriesLaborers -- FarmFarmers -- Farmers' organizationsFields -- Crops - Other vegetablesTransportation -- Railroad - Stations and sidings

Fair Oaks.

The berry growers of this section meet to-day at the Grange Hall for the purpose of fixing the price to be given to berry pickers. All interested in the berry trade will find it to their advantage to attend.

The growers of radishes who are satisfied with the present low prices are of those who believe "that man wants but little here below." Our farmers are not possessed with that happy way of thinking.

Work on the "siding" on railroad at this point, was commenced last Monday under the supervision of Mr. Allwine of the N. Y., P. & N. R.R., to the delight of shippers in this section. It will be completed by the time the berry season begins, and we predict that the conveniences thereby and otherwise to be given by the railroad company to us will make this an important shipping point.


Forests -- SawmillsInfrastructure -- Commercial - Grist millsTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Resorts


Mr. W. F. Fleming, who now has a steam saw mill at this place, will soon have a grist mill at work also.

A party of gentlemen from New York came to Wachapreague City via Keller a few days ago, for recreation.


Tourists and sportsmen -- Field sports - Hunting : Waterfowl and shorebirdTransportation -- Railroad - Stations and sidingsTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - ResortsMoral -- Alcohol


Our meadows are swarming with marsh birds.

The siding at Edmonds' Crossing is completed, and the buildings will soon be in course of erection.

Mr. John R. Sturgis is erecting a fine mansion on Holland Island, the property purchased of Mr. Wm. J. Bosque. This will doubtless become quite a resort for pleasure seekers.

In default of licensing to sell old 'tangle leg' at this place, the worst sort of a dry time is prevailing.

Candis Davis, colored, being seriously annoyed of late by the ghost of a late deceased relative, had the body disinterred, and all the worldly goods of the deceased placed in the coffin. Since which, she says her ghostly visitor has not been seen.


African-Americans -- Race relationsFields -- Livestock - Diseases and pestsFields -- Livestock - PoultryFields -- Livestock - SwineInfrastructure -- Commercial - Residential construction

Marsh Market.

Kate Hall, an elderly colored woman, much respected by the white people in this neighborhood, died suddenly on Friday 18th. Her husband, now deceased, always voted the Democratic ticket.

Hog and chicken cholera still prevails to some extent with us.

A handsome two-story dwelling is being erected by Capt. Henry Hall on his Taylor farm on Messongo Creek; and a similar structure is soon to be begun by Mr. Cornelius Corbin on his premises near his store.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Residential construction


A five cent counter is an attractive feature at Fosque & Bro., to those who wish to invest their small change judiciously.

Another new dwelling will be erected soon by our enterprising townsman Mr. R. J. Bell, and the fourth he has had built in the last two years.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal serviceArchitecture -- Courthouses


Two topics at present seem to be agitating the public mind in this locality, First, the mails from Accomac C. H., via Pastoria and Metompkin, have been changed to three times a week. This change has caused very much dissatisfaction. The people getting mail at this office and Metompkin cannot see why they should be treated in this way, in view of the fact that they occupy one of the most prosperous parts of the county. Their interest must suffer under the present mail arrangement. I am happy to say however, that I think there is a good prospect of the daily mail being restored to us.

Second, the removal of the courthouse. The people of this neighborhood have now opened their eyes to the injustice and wrong that have been perpetrated for many long years upon the good citizens in the upper part of this county. Justice demands equal conveniences as well as equal rights and burdens, and our people concurring in the sentiment, have almost determined unanimously to remove the court-house.

Real Estate Transfers.

Infrastructure -- Commercial - Real estateTransportation -- Railroad - Stations and sidingsNatural resources -- Conservation - Commons

Real estate transfers in Northampton county, during April, 1885:

George Isdell to Elkana B. Cobb, 36 acres near Bird's Nest station; $750.

William L. Scott and wife to Orris A. Browne, lot No. 630 at town of Cape Charles; $189.

Same to Hannah A. Clayton, lot No. 384 at town of Cape Charles; $189.

Same to Susan C. Bosher of Newport News, lot No. 325 at town of Cape Charles; $171.

William P. Reed to Susan E. Fletcher, one-half acre near Wardtown; $85.

Commonwealth of Virginia to John Walter Williams and A. F. Cobb; grant No. 30,458.

Charles E. Godwin and wife to N. Y., P. & N. R.R. Co., 2 acres near Bird's Nest station; $40.

William L. Scott and wife to Severn B. Travis, lots Nos. 616 & 620 at town of Cape Charles; $305.

Same to Benjamin F. Kellogg, lot at Cape Charles; $260.

Severn B. Travis to Wm. T. Travis, lot No. 616 at Cape Charles; $155.

The Court-House Question.

Architecture -- Courthouses


The accompanying communication, which is identical in all material respects, with a communication of mine which appeared in the Eastern Virginian of May the 2nd, (which is subjected to a very ingenious, and in some respects irrelevant criticism in your editorial of last week), was prepared for publication in THE ENTERPRISE on the same date; but owing to delay in its preparation, coupled with the earliness of your press day, was not mailed.

An old saw says, "After death the doctor," but in view of the facts, and in order that your readers may be afforded an opportunity to judge between "me and thee," and other matters incident to this controversy I think its appearance in your columns even at this late day is not altogether untimely and improper.

I cannot consent Sir, that this controversy be allowed to degenerate into vile personalities; a question, the solution of which will affect our country for weal or woe, during a thousand years probably should not be tainted and blown by reflections so reprehensible and uncalled for. I claim to be second to no man in the exalted estimate which I hold in regard to the integrity and honor of every individual comprising our Board of Supervisors, but at the same time they are not infallible in their judgment, and their acts as officials consequent thereupon should not be without the pale of fair and honest criticism; notwithstanding they are hedged about by that peculiar sentiment amounting almost to awe in some instances, with which officials generally, are regarded by many of our people. I presume also, Mr. Editor that you as publisher of a paper whose utterances control to a great extent public opinion throughout our county because of its universal circulation, can, and should be criticised, even with your permission in your own columns when the public welfare demands it. With these few remarks I leave the matter for the present with your readers, they can decide if they are acquainted with the facts in this courthouse business, whether or not my criticism is justified.



May 12th, 1885.


We were not surprised at the position assumed by you in your issue of the 18th of April last, in reference to the courthouse matter, since by taking a different position you might be accounted a traitor to the best interests of your town, and in the exercise of your privileges as a private citizen, no one can question your right to adopt and maintain such views of the matter as may appear to serve your own interests, and that of the town in which you reside; but as editor and publisher of a paper which is read and supported by citizens of all sections of the county, you seen to me to occupy a position, in relation to the matter in question...... is being tried, and should deal, to all interests concerned, strict and even-handed justice. In your position as editor of a county paper, you are supposed to look after the interests of that county generally, and not subordinate its welfare to the building up of the particular village in which you happen to reside, and in which your paper is published. You should look over and beyond the walls of your sacred town, and with an eye single to the public good, occupy in your public utterances a position impartial to all and if possible, inimical to none.

In your editorial, you draw a graphic picture of desolate fields, ruined homes and deserted streets, and for the first time in the history of your paper object to the thousands of dollars that will necessarily be expended in the building of the new courthouse. What a change has come over the spirit of your dreams! But last year it was a question of style; of brown-stone or marble trimmings, and the thousands of dollars necessary to carry out these ornate designs were very discreetly kept in the back ground. But now that visions of departing power and glory, of tenantless houses and empty pockets, coupled with the sacrilegious sound of hammer and creak of vehicle that are preparing at the bidding of the people to remove the courthouse to a more central and convenient location on the railroad, THE ENTERPRISE for the first time in its existence, blazons this question of extravagance in expenditure to the world. The Supervisors resolved to build a new courthouse that would cost twenty thousand dollars probably -- they did not ask the people whether they wanted it or not; whether they would consent to be burdened with a tax of twenty thousand dollars or not. They determined to build it at Drummondtown -- the wishes of the taxpayers were not consulted. They also determined to run the county in debt to the extent of the above amount, without authority from the Legislature. All these proceedings were irregular, unjust, and strongly subversive of the people's rights. Yet we heard not a word from THE ENTERPRISE in opposition to these highhanded measures. But now, since the people have arisen and in the exercise of their just privileges, have demanded and obtained permission to vote upon the questions of location, and a probability exists that the courthouse will go to the railroad, Holy horrors! The extravagance! the dear people! These are the sounds that greet us, and echo through the nooks and crannies of this ancient village. But, twelve months ago, (according to the declarations of the inhabitants of this ancient but honorable town), our present courthouse was a disgrace to the county, so rich and prosperous. It was compared to a dog kennel, a hen coop, and all manner of fun was made of the antique structure, and to maintain the honor and dignity of the county (they asserted), a new courthouse was absolutely necessary. But what a change has been wrought since then in their opinions! since this question of removal has been spoken of, they profess a great deference to the desires of the people, and for the conditions of their pocket books, and blandly insinuate that we don't need a new courthouse; that the old one was good enough for our fathers and with a few repairs will be good enough for the (degenerate) sons; thinking no doubt that with such claptrap they will be enabled to capture the guileless and unsophisticated tax payer and voter, and thus forever kill at the coming election this question of removal. The voter will be guileless indeed, that can be cajoled and swerved from duty to himself, his children and people, by such twaddle as this.

Defeat this movement by your votes, and give them but a shingle, aye, a brick of the old house, and they have at their command a Board of Supervisors, that will speedily erect a palace that will send a chill through the taxpayers soul and empty pockets, as his footfall echoes softly through its carpeted halls and spacious rooms. -- Without entering here into the main question, or questioning the authority of the Supervisors to order the election under the bill as published, (which is considered doubtful by good lawyers, as well as by others); yet we do not doubt that they have violated the spirit and intent of the act, in designating the lands of "Harry White's heirs," as the point for the location of the new courthouse in the event of a change. These words are embodied in the latter clause of the bill, and are in substance the Supervisor's bill; drafted in Drummondtown and by a Drummondtown lawyer, and if the election is held as ordered, its provisions will operate wholly in favor of Drummondtown. Upon the face of the matter, and also by the declaration of the representative who had this bill in charge in Richmond, it is evident that the first clause (or we might say in contradistinction, the people's bill) was intended to supersede and as a substitute for the Supervisor's bill. This declares, in substance, that a commission composed of one man from each magisterial district, shall select the place upon the railroad for the courthouse in case the people vote for a change. If the election had have been ordered under this bill, as was undoubtedly intended by our Legislators it would have been fair to all parties concerned.

In ignoring the first clause of the bill as it appears upon the statue books, and in ordering the election under the latter clause or Supervisors' bill, the friends of the movement are placed in a very disadvantageous and erroneous position. We did not ask them in our petitions to name any place, but simply to allow the people to vote as between Drummondtown, and some convenient point on the railroad as the location for the new courthouse which they asking for a bite, we got a loaf, much more than we desired, and, could in Justice to the lower part of the county demand. It seems that we have been surfeited that we might die. We believe that impartial and fair minded men of both sides of the question, will readily perceive the injustice to which the movement is subjected, in going before the people under the provisions of their Supervisors' bill, and will unite in demanding a stay of proceedings until the Legislature shall convene, and a bill be enacted which shall be impartial in its provisions to all concerned, and that will settle fairly for all time this vital question.

As there seems to be some misapprehension among some people as to the question to be determined, I will state that it is not to say whether we shall have a new courthouse or not. That point has been settled in the affirmative long ago by the Supervisors, now it is a question between repairing the old one and building a new one on the railroad, -- an idea which is sought to be instilled in the minds of some, for obvious reasons. It is simply to say whether the new house shall be built in Drummondtown, or on the railroad. If built at Drummondtown, where it can benefit but few people, who have already enjoyed its benefits from time immemorial, and where citizens cannot reach it without incurring heavy expenses, and sacrificing health, horseflesh and time, it would be a lasting and serious reflection upon our intelligence, and the ridicule of strangers.

In that event I would suggest as a fitting inscription over the grand entrance these words: "Accomac's supreme folly; she had an opportunity but failed to profit by it." And in the corner stone I would have placed the editorial in THE ENTERPRISE of the 18th of April, 1885, in order to show centuries hence, the follies into which our great men led us.

If the question is submitted in May, let us give our votes uninfluenced by personal considerations, but with an eye single to the public good, and also regardless of those petty neighborhood bosses, who imagine that they carry our votes in their vest pockets, and can deliver them in favor of the side that is able to offer them the best office or the most money.

I believe that the intelligence of our people will dictate their proper course. Every man must know that the railroad is the proper place for a courthouse. The expenses of -- building there will be much less and the convenience to most of our people much greater. Then everybody, whether horse owner or not whether fisherman or oysterman, farmer or merchant, laborer or gentleman of leisure, male or female, black or white, will as regards conveyance to court be placed upon an equal footing.

The rapidly developing business upon this great artery of commerce and travel, that traverses our shore, whose pulsations can be felt from Cape Charles City, to San Francisco, and from Montreal, to the city of Mexico, will soon demand hourly trains which will furnish us cheap comfortable and rapid facilities for reaching the new county town, where now, alas, for THE ENTERPRISE! there are no buildings, no parks, no trees &c., Well! Well! as if capital and nature herself had been exhausted in the building of our present magnificent county town.

Yours truly,


Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
May 16, 1885