Peninsula Enterprise, February 25, 1888


Farmers -- Farm size and structure

We have received from C. H. Walbridge, manager and agent of Hon. W. L. Scott's truck farm near Cape Charles City, a colored map of that splendid property, known as Hollywood Place. -- It is said to be the largest truck farm in Virginia, and contains 1,153 acres of cleared land, 811 acres of woodland, 61 acres of pond and lake, and 294 acres of Tidewater lands. It is in high tilth -- and pours immense quantities of trucks into the markets of the North the year around. It is another evidence of the power of brain and money.


Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Horse racing

The horse, Sam'l J. Tilden, purchased by Wm. S. Holland of Sam'l T. Ross, and sold by him on December last to Isaac Robbins, of New Jersey has of late made a record of 2.30 on Waverly track, Newark, N. J. His name has been changed to Greenwood.


Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal ordersSea -- Finfish - Catch : Other fish

Accomac C. H.

The Masons of Ocean Lodge, lately removed to Wachapreague City, have determined to sell their Lodge building here so soon as a Legislative act for that purpose can be had.

On Monday, the dam at Melson's mill pond near Accomac C. H., gave way under pressure of an immense head of water. A hole a hundred feet long, thirty feet wide and twenty feet deep was made by the rushing waters. Large trees were torn up by the roots -- and a mass of water "standing nearly four feet high" (says a lookeron) rushed into Folly Creek. Some eight years ago the pond was stocked with German Carp. Hundreds of these fish were swept in the creek, and nearly 1,400 pounds were caught and shipped North. Large quantities were sold in the neighborhood and the general verdict is they are a good food. "Wreckers" took a hand in the haul, and many a fine carp intended for market was carried off to "where the woodbins twineth." The dam will at once be rebuilt, Mr. Henry C. Lewis having contracted to do the work.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : PricesTransportation -- Railroad - FreightInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving serviceInfrastructure -- Public : Churches


The steamer Widgeon left here on Monday with 200 barrels of oysters -- the largest cargo of the season. The net returns for same will be from $6 to $10.

A petition is being circulated here which will be presented to Congress, asking an advance in wages of the captain of the Life Saving Station to $1,000 a year and of surf men to $75 per month. It is said similar petitions are being circulated from Maine to Florida. Every voter here will sign the petition. They all know the hardships to which the life saving men are subjected, and believe the compensation asked for their services to be such as they are justly entitled to.

Mr. Wm. Doughty, an old citizen of Hog Island, arrived here last Saturday to receive treatment for cancer with which he is afflicted at the hands of Aunt Eliza Reynolds.

A handsome church edifice will be erected here during the year by the members and friends of the M. E. Church.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideInfrastructure -- Public : Churches


The oyster shippers at this point are sending to market vast quantities of the delicious bivalves to tickle the palates of the Northern epicures, and they are realizing for the first time for several years good paying prices.

Jester Chapel, the new M. P. Church at the Sign Post, will be dedicated on the 11th of March. Revs. A. D. Melvin of Pocomoke City, W. M. Strayer of Baltimore, and J. L. Strawn of Somerset county, Md., are expected to participate in the dedicatory exercises.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideInfrastructure -- Public : ChurchesInfrastructure -- Commercial - Real estateProfessionals -- Builders


Many "tongers" in this vicinity have gone to the Potomac, and the "dredgers" are returning from said waters. The latter say that the work there in their business was not profitable.

The contract for building M. P. Church on Hunting Creek, has been awarded Mr. Frank P. Barnes.

Mr. Wm. Hope has lately purchased the home farm of Geo. S. Hope of Geo., for $2,000, and the Tatem farm has been purchased of said Hope by Geo. Hope, at the price of $1,225.


Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Legislation

MR. EDITOR. -- "Modoc" published a letter in the Eastern Virginian, and in it he says: "That something must be done to better the conditions of our roads is no longer a question, but an acknowledged fact." Well, it is a pleasure to see him cutting loose from his ancient moorings, and start to come on the right side. We hope he will not go back to see how far he has gone, but keep going forward.

He objects to our representatives in the legislature drawing the bill for road purposes. This is the usual way laws are made. When it is an acknowledged fact, that some law should be made -- there is no one whose duty it is to do it but the delegates in the legislature. We voted on re-adjustment long before the bill was drawn. The Democratic party stands to-day for tariff reform, but the bill has not been drawn yet, and so it is with all other laws.

We elect delegates to represent us, because all the people could not go to the legislature, nor can all the people at home draw bills to becomes laws.

The delegates, being representative men, know (at least ought to know,) the needs of the people, and it is their paid duty to provide for them.

The meeting at Atlantic believing in the wisdom and zeal of our delegates, left them to draw the bill, and very properly so -- for there are many different road laws in the State applicable to the various counties -- they have the opportunity to get the experience of the people (through their delegates) with the different systems, and to frame one suited to our case. It will be perceived then, the amount of information within the reach of our delegates, is not possessed by any one at home. These are the reasons, the work was left to our delegates -- and if they make a mistake why we will overlook it, and send them back to repair it. If they do nothing else they can relieve us of the $4,100 that we pay now for no good purpose -- and unless the money is properly spent we want it stopped.

"Modoc" supposes the action of the meeting is not approved by the people; it is only necessary to say, that sufficient petitions have been signed by the people to insure us a good road law, and further, no meeting has been had in opposition to it, and so far only a few kickers are heard from.

"It is an acknowledged fact that something must be done."

If our delegates were ignorant or unwilling to serve the people, the meeting at Atlantic in all probability would not have entrusted the work to them.

"Modoc" has another reason for objecting to the action of the meeting at Atlantic, viz: That it proposes "taxing the people to have paid laborers to keep the road in repair." Why has he never said anything about the tax of $4,100 now collected -- 9 cents on the $100 value of property for road purposes, (a tax laid for years past,) but really fooled away in the court-house and does little or no good for the roads? Where is the good of it? We would like information on this point. We naturally infer that "Modoc" is in favor of the tax of $4,100 and its results -- even if 6,590 men are made to fool away a lot of time on the roads, and if nothing is accomplished. The $4,100 is sufficient to spend on the roads, if it was placed in work there, and was taken out of the court-house. The Judge knows nothing about the roads, and cannot unless he leaves the bench to be road master general for the county, and the lawyers, who make the motions and argue the different sides know nothing about them. Therefore put this work in the hands of the people, under the direction of the Board of Supervisors.

The meeting at Atlantic was looking to the $4,100 and its proper application, to pay "intelligently directed labor," and stop the court-house nonsense.



Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Legislation

MR. EDITOR -- The subject now uppermost in the minds of our people is the wretched condition of our public roads. All admit that something must be done, but the trouble seems to be to settle upon some intelligent and definite plan. The old road system has proved to be an utter failure. The almost impassible condition of our roads sufficiently prove this fact. But some people wish to retain the substantial features of the old law. "Farmer" in your paper suggests some modifications -- among them the giving of "power to some petty aristocrats to determine what roads shall be worked, and what neglected." Here would be unlimited opportunity for favoritism. But the great bug bear which seems to affright "Farmer" is a "tax payers' rebellion." He cries "go slow." While our roads are in their present condition we must "go slow." To go fast is impossible.

But how about the "tax payers' rebellion?" Why my dear, "Farmer" we have had a "tax payers' rebellion" for lo, these many years. The poor laborer who has no cart, vehicle or team to drive upon or cut up the roads, has rebelled and is to-day rebellious against an odious and most iniquitous law, which compels him to do the same amount of labor on the public highways as his richer and more powerful neighbor who has many teams, carts, wagons and carriages to cut the roads to pieces. The surveyors of roads all over the county know this rebellious spirit prevails among the poor cartless, teamless laborers who are required to do four-fifths of the work on public highways, and hence pay four-fifths of the labor tax, while they do not receive one-tenth of the benefits.

Another suggestion has been made by "Modoc" in the last issue of the Eastern Virginian. His plan retains all the odious features of the present unjust and iniquitous road law. He wants new task masters appointed, called "commissioners," to goad the surveyor on, and compel the poor over taxed road laborer to do more work.

But never, this law will not do. Every right thinking man's sense of justice revolts at the iniquity. The old law must go. It is unjust, tyrannical, oppressive. It taxes the labor of the poor man to fill up the holes and cuts made in the highways by the carts and carriages of the wealthier classes. If you compel our poor cartless laborers to make good our roads, who will be most benefitted by the improvements? The property holders undoubtedly.

Is this just? Is it honest to take the poor man's labor, without compensation to improve property holders' estates?

To add to the poor road laborer's task, he is required to keep the roads in good condition without proper tools and implements. With good road plows, scrapes, levelers, rollers, and suitable teams, more work and better work can be done by one man than fifty men can do by our present mode of working roads.

To compel the poor laborers, without proper implements to keep our roads in good repair, finds a fit parallel in the tyrannical command of Pharaoh that the Israelites should make their regular tale of brick without straw.

Mr. Editor, I am naturally conservative in my sentiments, and generally opposed to hasty changes, but when I find upon the statute book an unjust law, oppressive to the poor, I say strike it down, and stand not upon ceremony but strike at once.

Moreover, this enforced labor system will not work -- "you can lead a horse to water but you cannot compel him to drink." You may require the laborers to go on the road, but they will not work with a will and effectively. They feel that they are performing an onerous task, and they sulk and shirk all they can. The old road law must go. Then let us have a just law and paid labor to work our roads, supported by general taxation. I would not object to a light capitation tax, provided it is not oppressive to the poor, and out of proportion to the benefits they derive from its expenditure and I firmly believe with wisely directed paid labor and proper road implements, the $4,100 (now "virtually wasted up in our roads.) supplemented by a very small capitation tax, would put our roads in good condition, and keep them in good repair. The one great desideration is drainage -- an elevated road centre, forming a watershed to each side. This is easily obtained by means of road plows, scrapes, &c., but would be very expensive, if the work is to be done by the spade, shovel, and hoe.

I heartily commend your correspondent "Progress," and bid him God speed in his efforts to give us better roads but to accomplish this the old road system must go.


Atlantic, Feb. 22, '88


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving service

A movement is on foot to petition Congress to pass a bill increasing the pay of surfmen and captains of the Life Saving Stations. We are most heartily in accord with it. In no branch of service is there more arduous work to be done than in this -- we greatly doubt if any carries with it so many constant dangers. It demands men of special mold to properly fill the conditions required -- men of prudence and adaptability to seize the best at a glance; of vigilance and strength of body; of keen sight and humane instinct; of healthy physique and honest work; men who are not merely "toilers of the sea," but educated by the teacher. Experience to know every move and caprice of the crafty surf they must fight. No bed of roses is theirs. The long dreary hours of the night find each in turn taking his "watch" of four hours. The darker, the drearier, the more stormy, rainy, snowy and tempestuous the keener the watch -- the more the necessity for a thorough man thoroughly fitted for his work. He is there to warn -- to arouse -- to save -- to save human life. And gallantly, too when occasion demands the heroic crews perform their work. The greater the danger the quicker to the rescue; the greater the peril the higher and cooler the courage required. Driven back by the fierce storm demon seeking the lives of the helpless souls, begging in unheard terror for life they may be -- but, it is only to gather new strength to the strong arms and carry safety where death lurks. To these men the word "fail" is not known -- "to do or die" takes its place -- and thousands of lives and millions in property testify this truth. We appeal to Congress not to be generous to these men -- simply just. No greater, no grander deed can a man do than offer his life to save that of another. Here we have a body of men who carry their lives in their hands daily and nightly to save the lives of others -- not friends or neighbors only, but strangers, even aliens. At home the little ones of these men are gathered in the loving care of the tried and true mothers, and wives who have bravely sent the fathers and husbands to save others. It is said, and demanded to be held as truth, that "the laborer is worthy his hire." Give to these "laborers" for lives (and property) enough that the wives may not suffer, and the little ones be so trained that they too, may become fitting men to the life savers, and fitting women to wed and rear men like them. -- Give to them justice -- full unstinted, unmeasured, honest justice. -- They ask no more. Even this done an unpayable debt will still be their due.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving service

The coming ashore the other day of the steamer " Earnmour" on Metompkin Beach is an added argument in favor of the establishment at this point of a Life Saving Station. There have been several vessels ashore there in the past few years, one a total loss. The distance to the station at the lower end of Cedar Island to Middle Landing, Metompkin, is about eight miles -- and in emergency, with a heavy storm, the surf men at that station would be unavailable. The station above could not possibly render assistance. The peculiar conformation of the shoals renders it dangerous. A ship coming south finding herself too far in seeks escape by moving outward and thus probably precipitates the danger she seeks to avoid -- the shoals forming a heavy curve, or pocket. It is to be hoped Superintendent Rich may succeed in his mission to have a station established there. It is a great necessity for inward bound as well as coasting vessels.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal service

Died, February 17th, 1888, at the residence of his son, near Boggs' wharf, of cancer, Lorenzo T. Mears, aged 54 years. In July, 1859, he became mail carrier from Accomac C. H., to Locustmount, and served with a short interval until July, 1881. He soon became well known to our people, and always pleasant, kind and obliging was a general favorite. Of the 22 years of service in carrying the "cross mail" slung over his shoulders, three days in each week, twenty-one were travelled afoot. He was almost as "regular as clock work" in his goings and comings. Neither heat nor cold, sunshine or storm, save in most rare instances, checked his steady to and fro movements. Each week counted 60 miles done, and when the fifty-two weeks ran out a score of 3,120 miles a year was made, so that when in July, 1881, twenty-one years of walking service ended, he had to his credit 65,520 miles gone over -- or over two and two-third times around the earth on foot -- and, counting his first year in, a grand total of 68,640 miles of mail carriage.

Quitting the service he settled at Wachapreague City, engaging in fishing and oystering. About a year ago he was attacked by cancer which terminated fatally as stated. Nearly two years ago he became a member of the M. E. Church, South, at Wachapreague City, in the burying ground of which kind hands laid his weary body to rest. In his christian life he was upright and consistent. Peace to his ashes.


Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 25, 1888