Peninsula Enterprise, February 18, 1888


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Insurance companies

A bill has been introduced in the Senate of Virginia by Hon. J. W. G. Blackstone, "to incorporate the Mutual Live Stock Association of Accomac county."


Transportation -- Water - StrandingsInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving service

The British steamship, Earnmoor, Captain Gray from St. Jago, Cuba, bound to Baltimore, went ashore off Metompkin Beach last Monday night. She floated at 10 a. m. Tuesday and started for Baltimore. She was 284 feet long and loaded with 284 tons of iron ore. Capt. Asa J. Savage and crew of Life Saving Station and Mr. Lorenzo West of Metompkin boarded her and rendered valuable services.


Transportation -- Railroad - Corporate

The statement of the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Company for the year ending December 31, shows the gross earnings to have been $503,156, expenses, $410,149, net earnings $93,007, an increase in net earnings of $31,839 as compared with the preceding year. The increase in freight tonnage during the year was 52 per cent.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : School administration

A bill has passed the Legislature to exempt from taxation the 'Sanford Charity School Fund' of Accomac.


Moral -- MurderMental illness

The grand jury of Northampton empanneled last Monday to consider the case of Wm. C. Duer, refused to indict as they had no doubt that he was insane at the time he killed his wife. He will be sent to the insane asylum.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Residential constructionProfessionals -- Builders

Mr. Wm. E. Lewis, has been awarded the contracts for building handsome dwellings at Accomac C. H., this Spring for Messrs. Geo. F. Parramore and E. T. Koenig. He will have as will be seen by his advertisement a competent corps of men in his employment, and parties who propose to build soon would do well to confer with him and get his prices.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Insurance companiesInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Town

Accomac C. H.

Mr. Polk Killmon, of our town, whose stock of goods was recently burned, was paid this week $1,300. He was insured in the Virginia Fire and Marine Insurance Company for $1,600. A bill is now pending before our Legislature to make insurance companies pay all they promise -- and if they will not, why shouldn't they be made to do it?

The bill in reference to the incorporation of Drummondtown has been reported from a committee of the House of Delegates. It will be re-committed in deference to the wishes of a large number of petitioners from our town who do not favor incorporation, and we will probably never hear of it again.


Transportation -- Water - Channel and harbor dredgingTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fairs

Belle Haven.

Capt. Wm. J. Rue and others have petitioned Congress for an appropriation to be applied in dredging Occahonnock from Shield's wharf to Rue's wharf, and the prospect is that in the near future the steamers of the E. S. S. Co., will run to the last point, which is less than a mile from our town.

The fair committee composed of Dr. J. E. Mapp, Thos. C. Kellam and Jos. J. Wescott, of Pungoteague Grange, and Geo. H. Adair, Wm. T. Johnson, John M. West and Wm. F. Fleming, of Belle Haven Grange, met in Grange Hall, over West & Willis' store Tuesday, 14th inst. The object of the meeting was to consider matters pertaining to the next Agricultural Fair, to be held about 4th of September. The next meeting will be held at the Fair Grounds on the 6th of March.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial constructionTransportation -- Railroad - FreightInfrastructure -- Commercial - Residential constructionInfrastructure -- Commercial - Real estateFields -- Crops - Other vegetablesInfrastructure -- Public - Government : TownInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Taxation

Cape Charles City.

The erection of four more new stores will be begun here next week.

The trains leave this point daily heavily laden with oysters and cotton.

Contracts, it is said, have been let for building about sixty new houses here during the spring, some of them to be large and handsome brick structures.

Mr. J. Revel Sturgis bought a lot in our town last week.

Mr. C. H. Walbridge has shipped this season 4,000 barrels of kale, which sold at satisfactory prices.

Messrs. Horsey & Wolf, of Laurel, Del., have purchased two more lots here, upon which they propose to build as soon as the weather permits.

Hostilities have been temporarily suspended in the case of Town Council vs. Walbridge. All is not exactly serene again, but during the time between now and the meeting of the court, which will adjust the difficulty, it is thought better counsels will prevail and the town council eventually be the winner.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : MarketsSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : PricesTransportation -- Water - FreightFields -- Livestock - Horses


Our channel is constantly filled with oyster boats from New York and Philadelphia, and the bivalve is selling with us at high prices. A vessel of J. Royle & Co., the largest oyster dealer in New York was loaded here last week. From 490 to 500 barrels of oysters are shipped from here daily. Culls are worth from $3 to $3.50 and primes from $5 to $6.

Mr. Peter Whaley, of Suffolk, recently purchased and shipped to that city a drove of Chincoteague ponies. The demand for them is increasing -- the larger ones hitched to a dog cart make a pretty turnout, especially popular at seaside resorts. The smaller ponies are used as saddle horses by the children.


Infrastructure -- Public : Churches


Mrs. Margaret C. White, near Masonville, has lately donated an half acre of land, near Hunting Creek steamboat wharf, to the Methodist Protestant Church, as a site for the erection of a church edifice. A building committee has already been appointed for that purpose. A considerable amount of the money is already subscribed, and the plan for building will soon be submitted and put into effect. The church is to be named Reese's chapel, and this is to take the place, and to perpetuate the memory of the old one of that name, located near Wiseville..


Infrastructure -- Public : SchoolsTransportation -- Road - MaintenanceTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal orders


The roll of our public school shows 110 pupils.

The roads with us are almost impassible, and the expressions of some of our citizens, who have to use them in sending their oysters to market, are not always angelic.

The corner-stone of a hall of the Tent will be laid on 4th of July, next, and a fair will be held on same day. The information is given thus early, that other organizations may take due notice thereof and govern themselves accordingly.

At a stated meeting of Atlantic Tent No. 146 I. O. of Rechabites, of Sanford, last week, the following officers were elected for the ensuing term: Jacob E. Sparrow, shepherd; S. W. Sparrow, P. C. R.; James Corbin, C. R; Columbus Taylor, D. R; Frank Taylor, R. S.; John H. Hall, F. S.; John T. Drummond, treasurer; Wm. R. Knight, levite; Asa Hall, I. G.; E. H. Anderton, O. G.; John A. C. Killman, chaplain; R. J. Corbin, janitor.

Prohibition Meeting on Chincoteague.

Moral -- Alcohol

To say that our people are excited over the attempt of the liquor men to force high license upon this community is putting it mildly. The call for a public meeting Monday night, 6th inst., to denounce the movement, was answered by the crowding of Temperance Hall to its utmost capacity, by the voters of this district. Such a gathering of the bone and sinew has seldom been witnessed here.

The meeting was called to order by the hero of our local option campaign, Rev. S. U. Grimsley, when on motion, J. T. Kenney was elected chairman, and Rev. R. I. Watkins, secretary. The following resolutions were offered by Rev. R. Irving Watkins.

Whereas, There is being handed to the citizens of this island, a petition asking for legislation on the subject of temperance; and

Whereas, We believe there is no reason for a change in the present law on that subject, unless it be to make it stronger and more severe in the penalties to the violator; therefore be it

Resolved. By the citizens in mass meeting assembled on February 6th, 1888, that we solemnly protest against the law making body of this State making any change in our present law, which has for its object the vending of intoxicating liquors in our midst.

Resolved. That although much has been accomplished in the temperance reform, that much more remains to be done before we shall be forever rid of this awful curse.

Resolved. That the business of manufacturing or selling intoxicating beverages of any kind is against the principles of morality, political economy and the public welfare. Therefore

Resolved. that we believe it to be the duty of our State government to enact such laws as will guarantee the complete legal prohibition of the traffic in alcoholic drinks.

Resolved. That we heartily approve of all lawful efforts to save society from the evils of intemperance, and earnestly advise the citizens of this island to co-operate in all measures which have for their end constitutional prohibition.

Resolved, That licensing of men in any way to sell intoxicating beverages at this time will materially affect us as a community, lessening our influence as a power to elevate mankind; that it will be a dishonor to us, an injury to the church, and a blow aimed at the cause of Christ.

The following resolutions were offered by D. J. Whealton:

Resolved. That we earnestly request our representatives in the legislature to use their efforts to maintain the local option law enacted two years ago; but if the law of the State be changed, we do urgently pray that they will submit a bill which shall be stringent in its provisions, and which shall be in accordance with the desires of the people of this Island, such a bill to be special act for Chincoteague Island, Accomack county, Virginia.

Resolved. That a copy of these resolutions shall be furnished to each of our members of the legislature, and to our county papers for publication.

Resolved, That we urge upon the people of our county to use their efforts for the maintenance of the local option law, which defends our homes and firesides from the effects of the rum traffic.

Strong speeches were made in support of the resolutions, when they were unanimously adopted amid a storm of applause.

A petition to the legislature praying a continuation of the present local option law was circulated, receiving the signatures of about two hundred bona fide voters, with the prospect of swelling it to three hundred. The people of this Island have sworn allegiance to their homes and vengeance against the saloon, and the political aspirant who would acquiesce in foisting upon us the "body of this death" will feel the shock when he again asks the suffrage of this people.



Sea -- Finfish - Methods : Pound-netNatural resources -- Conservation - Resources

MR. EDITOR. -- An effort was made in the Legislature during January to curtail the destructive operations of pound nets, fyke and other like nets. Several petitions were sent from the county to our members and Senators, begging that the people of Accomac might have a little chance to get a fish now and then, and that the county of Northampton should not monopolize almost entirely this great interest. These petitions, together with petitions from the pound nets were duly presented to the House, and referred to the Committee on the Chesapeake and its tributaries. On this committee is Mr. S. S. Wilkins of Northampton, whose duty it is to represent the county of Accomac as well as Northampton. He is sent there by both counties and neither he or any other person could represent the latter except by the vote of the former. Nineteen-twentieths of the people of Accomac are opposed to the use of pound nets during the spring season when trout, mullet and sheepshead are coming up from the capes to the waters of this county, when the fish could be taken by the hand line, and draw seines. A large majority of the people of Northampton are also opposed to the use of these nets. The committee met, I think it was on or about the 6th or 8th of January. One speech was made before it, and then on motion of Mr. Wilkins the committee adjourned.

It again met about twelve days after, at 10 o'clock a.m. At this meeting there were present two lawyers, one from Accomac and one from Norfolk (whoever selected these two men showed considerable shrewdness for reasons not now necessary to mention.) and a number of men owning and running pound nets and fykes. These latter were called on to testify in their own behalf, and the burden of their testimony was that it would be a great loss to them to stop their traps at any time because they were making so much money and distributing the same in their neighborhood. -- that the fish increased by reason of their traffic -- that it gave employment to so many men, and that it destroyed no small fish. On the other side petitions were presented setting forth the destructiveness of pound nets and fykes, and the absence of fish in the creeks of the county of Accomac since the introduction and use of these nets, and their abundance before the introduction and use of nets, that the people of this county now scarcely ever see or can buy a good fish, because they cannot catch them with hook and line or draw seine, and those caught in their traps are sent off to northern markets. These facts so set forth in a number of petitions signed by good and reliable men were not heeded, and had no proper consideration. At 12 o'clock, m., the committee, adjourned to meet at 7 o'clock p.m. At this meeting Dr. Ewell was not present. After hearing the testimony of one or two more of the pound netters, and a short speech from the other side, Mr. S. S. Wilkins, with hot haste and a sort of fiery indignation moved the bill then and there be killed so dead that the hand of the resurrection would never reach it. And there it died, and then the interests and rights of Accomac on this question died with it. Now I will state by way of information that all we asked for was that the law passed in 1879 might be so amended that where the word pound nets occurs in that law, the words "fyke and other like nets" might be added, or so amended; this being refused, we then asked for two months intermission of the use of nets. This proposition was refused. It was seen, and was so declared before the meeting of the committee, that neither May or June would be given up, nor was it in my opinion agreed upon by these men that any month should be given up. They wanted all and got all. Now to suspend the setting of the use of these nets during the month of May is what we in Accomac especially want. In this month the trout, mullet, spot and sheepshead, all game fish are wending their way up the bay to our creeks, where by the hook and line and by the haul seine they could be taken by our people, and thus furnish to them a supply of delicious and wholesome food. Some years since the creeks of our counties were a veritable meat house to hundreds and thousands of our poorer class of people who would catch in a few hours enough fish -- trout, mullet, sheepshead, and spot, to feed their families, and to buy the necessaries of life. But now they may fish a whole day and catch a half dozen or dozen small trout, or in a week's fishing they may by good luck catch one sheepshead. The fish of our waters are common property, they belong to all the people of the State alike, and the State should hold this interest in trust for the use and benefit of all, and not allow a few greedy men who have money to monopolize it. I am opposed to all monopolies, and especially to a monopoly of this kind when property that belongs to all is made the property of a few. These pound nets are a quasi corporation, and the corporation is for the most part wealthy and influential, bound together by the line of interest, and mutual protection. They are aggressive and defiant, out of seven fishing months they are not willing to give us the one we ask for, they are not willing to take six out of the seven, they must have all. Let the people of Accomac and also the people of Northampton arise in their power and strength and demand their rights. Let them see to it that they demand that the candidates for the Legislature shall express their views on this and other local questions, and let them send men there who will when conflicting interests arise between the two counties settle the question by a fair and just compromise.



Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Sand and clay

MR. EDITOR. -- It has been shown in the columns of this paper, that

The present road system demands an onerous, heavy, and increasing tax; $3,800 for the year past, $4,100 for the present year. This money is wrung from the people for no good -- it is wasted.

It demands compulsory labor of 4,590 men -- time wasted from their business, that might be profitably employed. A useless tyranny that cannot be defended.

It damages teams and vehicles fifteen thousand dollars yearly. A destruction not to be tolerated.

It depreciates real estate $24,000 yearly. A curse on this fair land.

Total loss -- more than all the taxes collected in one year.

The above are facts not disputed.

Assert the figures are too high, then fix them as you like; and it is a heavy tax in money, a waste of labor, a destruction of property, a damage to realty. A shameful profligate, squandering of the means and substance of the people.

It has been shown, that roads can be worked and kept in order, for less than $15 per mile by hired "labor intelligently directed."

This county is 40 miles long, three roads the length of it, is 120 miles.

It is ten miles wide -- place a cross road at every two miles, making 20 roads, equal to 200 miles, total 320 miles of road. Fully one-third of the roads need nothing doing to them.

The best soil for cheap roads is sand and clay mixed -- the material is on every ready for use. If the land is put in proper shape, the natural tendency of it is to stay so. See the corn rows of 20 years ago now in the pines.

Drainage is absolutely necessary, it is easily accomplished -- water will run down hill; (do the old fogies doubt it?) it must, however be the business of some one to see that it is not obstructed (by these gentry). A new system properly enforced, will reduce the tax of $4,100 within three years, and prevent the waste of labor, destruction of teams, and the decreasing of the value of real estate.



Transportation -- Road - Maintenance

"Progress" in his letter, to be found elsewhere seems to be not only progressive but aggressive. He has evidently "put his foot down," and making a resume of previous articles published in this paper declares it has been shown in its columns, that certain propositions have been settled as facts. From his tone he is evidently of the animus of Pat at Killarney Fair, waiting for "some gentleman to thread upon me coattail." -- in other words sure of his ground he is ready to back his argument by facts and figures, and courts discussion. He is right. If there are those who oppose a better method for road purposes and who prefer the present old fogy and utterly inefficient system let them openly state their propositions and argue the points. Now is the time to do it. Probably this winter has given the best argument for a new departure in road work. From all parts of the county comes the cry: "The roads are nearly impassible." Not only are they "nearly impassible" in general but in many places the public is compelled to leave the "main horse channels" and infringe on private property or stay at home. The condition of our roads is disgraceful. They are costly -- and when we hear the results worked out in the expenditure of a tax of $3,800 to $4,000 per year -- about nine cents on the $100 -- for "all road purposes" like the blind man we are exceedingly "anxious to see it" shown that it has produced paying results. One thing is very sure -- the people are very tired of the existing condition of the roads and they mean that something better shall be had. At once if they can -- but not long first most certainly. And it will be well that it shall not be forgotten.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 18, 1888