Peninsula Enterprise, March 17, 1888


Moral -- Alcohol

In matter of Savage vs. Commonwealth -- last local option case, Court of Appeals decided for plaintiff.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal service

Sykes Island is to have a daily mail to be supplied from Oak Hall. The route between the two points is to be by Jenkin's Bridge and Sanford and bids for the privilege of carrying it are now in order. Many of our people are so fond of working for the Government, we presume, that in this instance as in many others, some one will be found willing to take the contract for barely enough to furnish them with "widdles and clothes."


Fields -- Crops - Sweet potatoes : Seed and slipsWeather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow storms

Accomac C. H.

The novel experiment was made by several farmers in the vicinity of this town of attempting to retain the heat in their potato beds by the use of lamps. With what success, we are not advised, but our merchants are at least happy, if having found purchasers for all their stock in that line.

During the late storm the smoke stack of steam mill of Mr. A. J. Lilliston was blown down with a loss to him of $15 or more and an unfinished dwelling of Mr. Jas. Lewis was moved some six or seven feet from its foundation, which can be placed in position again for a few dollars. The damages in other respects in town and vicinity were slight. A few trees only were blown down, fences scattered &c., though the storm seems to have raged with equal fury here as at other points. The dwelling of several of our citizens were so badly shaken by the winds that many complained of feeling Monday morning, as if they had been tossed to and fro by the waves and said they had the sea sickness incident to same.


Weather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow stormsTransportation -- Railroad - WrecksTransportation -- Railroad - Personal injury

Belle Haven.

The storm of last Sunday night raged furiously here and many trees were uprooted, chimneys blown off and enclosures blown down. Many were apprehensive of danger from the falling trees, and the life of Dr. Hyslop was put seriously in jeopardy by one falling near his office.

The night express on N.Y., P. & N. R.R., was thrown off the track 2 miles below Exmore by running into a tree 2 1/2 feet in diameter, which had fallen across the road, and the engine was badly wrecked. The passengers escaped injury but the engineer was badly though not seriously injured.


Weather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow stormsInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal serviceTransportation -- Railroad - FreightInfrastructure -- Public : Churches


No mail was received here from any point on last Monday in consequence of the inclement weather. The train bringing our mail from the North on that day was "snowed in" at a point near Lewes, Del., and an engine was sent from this place to her relief. The mail and passengers arrived at Franklin City, Tuesday.

Considerable damage to shipping is reported here, and a rumor is current to-day (Wednesday), that 13 persons in attempting to escape from a sinking vessel landing on a pier which had been severed from the mainland at Lewes, Del., to find themselves beyond the reach of assistance and were frozen to death.

It is now (Wednesday.) quite cold here. the ground is thickly coated with snow and the thermometer indicates only 18 degrees above zero.

Jesters Chapel, a new M. P. Church edifice near this place was dedicated last Sunday. Rev. A. D. Melvin, of Pocomoke City, Md., preached the dedicatory sermon to a large audience. The contributions on the occasion amounted to $325, a sum sufficient to pay off claims and demands against said church.


Weather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow stormsInfrastructure -- Commercial - Residential construction


The blizzard of last Sunday and Monday did considerable damage in this section. Fences were blown down, hundreds of valuable trees torn up by the roots, potato bed frames scattered in every direction and broken, and one house toppled over making a wreck of a valuable carriage of Mrs. M. J. White. Messrs. B. F. Parks and Robt. W. Hickman, each had about 3 boxes of glass broken and many frames destroyed. Many other farmers suffered loss more or less.

The lumber is being cut for a handsome dwelling to be erected by Mr. J. F. Wessels, this spring, and the young man it is said is open for leap year proposals.


Weather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow stormsInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial construction


Capt. Thos. Johnson, of our town, has gone on a tour North, and when last heard from was at Buffalo, N.Y. The captain makes the trip principally for pleasure, but it is said will combine a little business with it, and he expects to purchase a tugboat before his return, if he can find one to suit to ply between this place and Tangier Island. In the event of the purchase, Capt. Wm. F. Rogers is to be captain of the tug.

Messrs. Powell & Waples, Fosque & Co., W. D. Lewis, Hopkins & Bro., (of whom mention is made elsewhere) each were damaged by the late storm from $25 to $50.

The lumber has been ordered for a large and handsome building to be erected this spring on the corner lot recently purchased by Mr. E. E. Miles, opposite store of W. D. Lewis. It will be large enough and it is proposed to subdivide it into three business houses.


Weather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow stormsTransportation -- Water - WrecksTransportation -- Water - Strandings


The storm commencing here Sunday night was the coldest and longest for many years. A few items given below will enable your readers to judge of its violence at this point.

Fifteen canoes torn from their moorings and capsized now, (Thursday), are strewn along the island.

Two large oyster schooners from Absecom, N.J., -- J. G. Crate, Capt. Geo. D. Showell; and Estelle, Capt. Charles Smith, are ashore off this place in 2 feet water about 150 yards from the island.

Many cattle in Free School Neck were frozen to death. Mr. John A. Ellis of this place lost four valuable cattle.

Two schooners belonging to Noah P. Sterling are ashore at Apes Hole.

The shutters were blown off store of Mr. Geo. W. Glenn and glass broken to the amount of $15. The tin roof was also blown off his new store, and his goods were exposed to weather causing considerable loss.

Seed Potatoes.

Fields -- Crops - Sweet potatoes : Seed and slips

The truckers of this Peninsula need to be more particular about the seed potatoes they plant. They should follow the example of their more experienced South Jersey brethren who will not use for seed, potatoes grown short of furtherest northeastern point of the U.S., because the short quick season of Maine conduces to the hardy and quick growth of potatoes when planted South. Pancoast & Griffiths, of Phila., who are long and experienced in the business, state that the elevated lands back from the ocean in Maine, and New Brunswick, and in some sections only of Nova Scotia, give decidedly the best satisfaction among Jersey truckers who plant principally Early Rose because this variety takes best in N.Y., Boston and Phila. markets, and it is an earlier and surer crop when planted from the best Eastern (Northern) pure stock. The above firm is quoted as authority by our Jersey contemporaries in instancing cases where, planted side by side at the same time and under the same conditions the seed they supplied from Houlton (Houlton Bose) came up and yielded well during hard (either dry or too wet) seasons, when other seed of the same variety yielded little over the quantity planted.


Weather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow stormsTransportation -- Water - Strandings

Large Quantities of Shipping and Other Property Destroyed.

During the day of Sunday the wind was S.E., cloudy but mild. By 3 p.m., a constant cold rain was making it very disagreeable for all travelers. Gen. Greely had promised southerly winds, warmer and fair. By 9 p.m. the wind had shifted to the north'ard and blew heavily with snow, at 10.30 a gale was in progress, and during the night a terrific storm of snow and wind raged. It was typical March. Day broke Monday with increased fury of the wind and snow. During the whole of Monday and Tuesday night and day heavy winds continued but with little snow. Wednesday was raw and windy, but during the night the wind and temperature moderated considerably. Thursday sun rose bright and clear with moderate wind. The worst of the terrible gale was the fearful gusts of wind which strewed destruction in their paths. -- The ides, tides and winds of March met and they will not soon be forgotten. The greatest damage was done on Sunday night and Monday morning. -- On the Bayshore the tide rose to a height never known before. As an instance Hunting Creek rose so high that the bridge at Drummond's mill rarely ever touched by ordinary tides was covered to the depth of two feet. Riding at anchor in the creek were many oyster craft and all but one little shallop were driven over 500 yards "high and dry" ashore. At the steamboat wharf laths, wood, lumber, coalhouse, outhouses, everything except dwelling, storehouse, grainhouse and stables of Hopkins, Bros., & Co., were swept away. It is thought it will cost about $800 to float the craft now ashore there. The roadway is torn up and the bridge swept away.

Messrs. J. C. Justice & Co.'s wharf was torn up, and their warehouses, containing 1600 bushels of oats, and about $250 worth guano, destroyed. A total loss of about $1,500. Capt. Wm. R. Lewis wharf is a total wreck.

At Onancock the rise of the tide was unprecedented. The oldest inhabitant fails to remember one so high -- not even the famous September gust of 1821. In Hopkins & Bros., store it rose four inches compelling the removal of goods with slight loss to the counters. In the warehouses of Powell & Waples, Fosque & Co., and W. D. Lewis, it rose from 17 to 18 inches. The schooner Maggie Davis broke her mooring and driven by force of wind and wave threatened such mad havoc that Capt. Geo. Crockett and others were compelled to stand the storm for hours to save the boat and wharves from destruction. The sloop Hamburg of Crockett's Fish Factory broke her fastenings and was driven high and dry at "Only near Onancock." It is reported the factory has gone -- but it is doubted. The banks of the creek are terribly washed -- in some places from five to ten feet in width of them are swept away. Parker's Marsh is cleaned of stock, and covered with small boats of all descriptions. No one can tell where from; some say as far as Apes Hold.

Chesconnessix and Deep Creek Necks were literally swept. In many places acres of land were covered with water three to four feet deep. Manure in heaps and spread, potato beds and frames, fences, gates and even soil were carried away. Charles Allen was compelled to take his cow and calf in the house to save them, and warned by loud squealing and the probable loss of his only porker cut a hole in the floor and dragged it in. Mrs. Sally Gray lost all her cattle, hogs and fence. Mr. Saulsbury says a clean sweep was made of his premises -- his dwelling, stables and an outhouse alone remaining. Capt. Jno. Marsh's schooner was brought around home from Onancock on Saturday, and now lies high above high water mark near his house. On his wharf were a large number of barrels of oil for shipment, these were swept away and lost, one of his vessels loaded with oysters was sunk -- and his fields swept bare of manure and shatters.

Six or eight schooners are ashore on Pungoteague Creek. Capt. Ed. Chandler's schooner capsized. The Virginia oyster police boat, Capt. Ed. Corbin, commander, had her mast blown out and it is feared is an entire wreck.

At the works of the American Fish Guano Co., the platform and one fish house, containing a large quantity of guano were swept off, entailing a loss of $2,000 to $3,000. Part of Hoffman's wharf is gone. Boggs' granary was capsized with a loss in fertilizers.

Guilford wharf and the granary are destroyed. An old storehouse occupied as a dwelling was abandoned because of the high rise of the tide in it.

On Messongo a large number of boats and canoes were blown ashore at Shad Landing. Many of the canoes were badly broken up.

Throughout the entire Shore reports of more or less damage come of fences, buildings, boats, etc., blown to pieces. Trees have been blown down by hundreds not only on the edges of woods near the roads, where it was very dangerous to travel, but throughout their extent.

In and near this town several narrow escapes were had. Mr. Thomas Lilliston had his stable of three stalls blown down catching his cattle under the roof. Fortunately one corner caught on an adjoining building saving them from being crushed. A falling tree drove its branch, fully five inches in diameter, through the roof of the stable of Mr. Edward Gardiner into the floor, barely missing a valuable horse owned by him. Mr. Fred Waddy started in Savage's hack under the skillful control of Mr. Will Lilliston, to meet the 11.03 p.m., train at Tasley. They had scarcely gone three hundred yards when a terrific gust of wind struck the hack, forced the top over nearly breaking it off, and barely missing an upset. Like a prudent sailor he "put his helm hard to starboard," "went about" and made port at the stables with all possible haste. Monday's mail was missed and none north of Delmar was had until Thursday.

Reports from up the road give tidings of telegraph poles down, trees across the track to Delmar, and beyond there impassable till Thursday. Below the force of the gale was equally severe.

At Cape Charles City the Baptist Church, the building occupied by the Cape Charles Fish and Oyster Co., and a freight car were unroofed. All along the line the telegraph was down.

Near Nassawadox, Sunday night engine No. 5 drawing the 11 o'clock train ran into a tree lying across the road, and with two cars was ditched. The engine was very badly broken, and engineer Barr narrowly escaped serious injury by being caught under it. The steamer having failed to make connection no passengers were aboard.

While at her wharf at Old Point the steamer Old Point was jammed against the piling damaging her keel badly.

Railway travel north of Delmar ceased until Thursday, and the Baltimore steamers have failed to come except the Eastern Shore, which after terrible passage reached Pungoteague on Tuesday morning.

So far as we learn, the gale was an extensive one and great damage was done wherever it spread. We have rarely had such a gale here. That of '76 was very severe, as was also that of August '78 -- but neither lasted so long as this. Twenty-one years ago an almost continuous wind and rain lasted during the month -- culminating on the 19th, in a violent storm lasting for three days doing much damage.

It is to be hoped that "coming in like a lamb," "roaring like a lion" at the middle, this March will go out quietly -- and St. Patrick's Day and the equinox prove to have been swallowed up in this great storm.


Transportation -- Railroad - Rates and faresFarmers -- Farmers' organizations

MR. EDITOR. -- We will state for the guidance of committee appointed at Onancock of the Accomac Truckers' and Fruit Growers Association that a like committee has been appointed by the State of Delaware to confer with merchants and gain all possible information relative to discriminations &c., and know that they have done some very valuable work. In a few days we will be enabled to give you facts in connection with the above, which will give your farmer's committee very valuable working grounds, owing to the fact that the said committee appointed by like association of the State of Delaware has selected our house as its shipping centre. They have made us shipments from Norfolk and propose doing so from other localities, their object being to thoroughly determine to what extent this evil has been and is at present time being carried on. Hoping you will either publish this in your paper or refer its contents to the committee having the matter in charge.



Phila., Mar. 3 '88.


Weather -- Northeast stormsWeather -- Snow storms

Late papers bring tidings of violent storms on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the entire sea coast States north of Richmond, except parts of New England. Chicago states that all its wires were working "to within a radius of fifty miles of New York," so that telegraphic failures were chiefly coastwise. Immense damage has been done wherever the storm touched -- but, of course, no estimate can be made. New York city was almost entirely blockaded -- and travel and trade in large measure suspended. Mails were delayed many hours, and telegraphic communication with the outside world cut off. The police were busy in that city, and those adjoining, driving people on to force movement for life's sake -- and rescuing many who overcome by exhaustion and cold had lain down to seek the rest of death. Much loss in shipping is reported. Roscoe Conkling very nearly lost his life going from his office to the New York Club House. In Union Square he got into a snow drift up to his armpits and with difficulty escaped. He says, "it took me three hours to make the trip, which I always make in twenty minutes" -- all this because he would not pay $50 charged for a hack to take him home. Great suffering is reported among the poor who are in great need of food and fuel. Many have died from freezing. The Brighton Beach Hotel at Coney Island was swept into the sea on Tuesday. Baltimore was blockaded until Thursday. Trade was at a stand still. The movement by trains was nominal -- telegraphic communication was almost entirely suspended and water travel and trade closed. The first press dispatches from New York since early Sunday night reached the city at 10.30 o'clock Tuesday night, via Pittsburg. -- From this city to New York thousands of telegraph poles were blown down. Nothing comparable to this blizzard has ever been known in Baltimore. As in other cities, [illegible] poor who need warmth and food. Deaths from the cold have been reported. Slowly from down the bay craft of all kinds have been moving up, each bringing tales of thrilling adventure -- many of narrow escapes -- others of death itself. The steamer Tangier arrived at her wharf shortly after 7 o'clock Wednesday after encountering fearful perils. She left Snow Hill at 6 a.m. Monday. The weather was so terrible that Capt. Wilson steamed directly to Watts Island reaching there at 1 p.m. At 5 p.m., she tried to make Crisfield but could only anchor in the river. On Wednesday morning, she left Crisfield for Baltimore. The Eastern Shore suffered more than the Tangier. She left Baltimore on time Sunday and when the storm broke was well in the bay. It was dark, her officers could not get her bearings, and in the very height of the storm off Thomas' Point dropped anchor to fifty fathoms of chain, but the tossing and plunging ship could not be held by it. With great difficulty the chain and anchor was hauled aboard and she steamed to Mord's Wharf in the Annamessix river. Here she defiantly attempted to make a stand but failed. Nothing daunted the gallant steamer sought Crisfield where at last she found shelter about noon on Monday. She reached Pungoteague on Tuesday. The steamer Sue arrived from the Potomac at 4 p.m., Wednesday having left Washington at 4 p.m., Sunday. She reports the river full of craft -- very many in a disabled condition. Hundreds of small craft were reported ashore all along the routes of the steamers. -- To epitomize the casualties would require columns.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
March 17, 1888