Peninsula Enterprise, February 11, 1888


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Lighthouse serviceTransportation -- Water - Aids to navigation

The lighthouse board at Washington has recommended Mr. Browne's bills for lighthouses at Tangier and Great Wicomico, and for a buoy depot at Chincoteague, Va. All these bills will be reported favorably in a few days.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : TownInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Taxation

A warfare is now being waged between the town officials of Cape Charles and Mr. C. H. Walbridge, agent of Hon. W. L. Scott. The former say that Mr. Scott's property shall pay its part of the expenses of the town and Mr. Scott through his agent speaketh to the contrary, for reasons, which, with the lights before us do not seem to be satisfactory. We have only one word to add by way of counsel to the town authorities, in the language of Davy Crockett, "be sure you are right and then go ahead." Mr. Scott and Mr. Walbridge are entitled to the same but no more consideration than the smallest tax payer in your town.


Development -- Quality of life

The annual report of the auditor of public accounts of Virginia, for the fiscal year ending September 30th, 1887, shows that the county of Accomac stands very prominent among the one hundred counties in the State. In value of real estate Accomac stands No. 15; horses, 12; cattle, 40; sheep, 66; hogs, 2; carts, carriages, etc., 3; farming implements, 20; mechanics tools, 14; watches, 6; clocks, 8; sewing machines, 5; musical instruments, 21; household and kitchen furniture, 6; gold and silver plate, jewelry, etc., 21; vessels, boats, etc., 1, having more than twice as much as any other county; guns, fire arms, 1; solvent bonds and notes, &c., 10; capital invested in business &c., 5; money deposited in bank 8; in total value of personal property, 10; of taxes paid in State treasury; 11.


Transportation -- Railroad - SteamboatsTransportation -- Railroad - PersonnelSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideTransportation -- Railroad - FreightInfrastructure -- Public : Churches


Joseph S. Pruitt, of this place, who is half owner and captain of the schooner Peter J. Hart, has been appointed captain of the steamer Widgeon, running between Chincoteague Island and Franklin City, at a salary of $80 per month, in place of Capt. Swift, who is the present master of the steamer. Capt. Swift will retire from the line in a very short while.

Vast quantities of oysters are being sent to market from this place over the Del., Md. & Va. R.R., and the shippers are realizing good prices for them.

Two pugilists, residents of this town, and own brothers, had a fight on Front street in Greenbackville, one day last week, but neither of them were seriously hurt by the encounter.

The new M. P. Church building at the sign post near Horntown, is to be dedicated at an early date -- probably on the 11th of next month, but due notice of the time will be given later.


Fields -- Livestock - Diseases and pestsFarmers -- InnovationTransportation -- Road - Maintenance


Hog cholera is sweeping everything like a hog before it in this section. -- Some farmers having lost all. Here is a cause in which our proposed agricultural experiment station can exercise itself a little.

We notice that you have hitched on to the road question. We, of this neighborhood give you God speed in your efforts. "Let her go Gallagher."

Meeting of Truckers and Fruit Growers.

Farmers -- Farmers' organizationsTransportation -- Railroad - FreightTransportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Legislation

The Truckers and Fruit Growers Association of Accomac county, met in the Town Hall, in Onancock, last Saturday, February 4th. Officers were elected for the year 1888, as follows, viz: Capt. E. L. East, president; George W. McMath, secretary; Dr. O. B. Finney, treasurer.

The subject of freights and prompt delivery of berries were generally discussed, but action deferred to next meeting. It is the universal opinion of berry growers, that the delay in trains on the N.Y., P. & N. R.R. last season, has very materially damaged the fruit growing interests in our county. The sentiment expressed was, that the railroad company continued to show its inability to deliver berries on time, that an effort would be made in the way of starting a water carrier trade with the northern markets.

Capt. O. A. Browne delivered an admirable address on "How to improve and maintain the fertility of our soil."

A resolution was offered requesting our delegates from this county to offer a bill in the legislature looking to the changing of our system of working public roads. But the resolution was withdrawn, the discussion of the subject having taken a political turn, by Mr. J. W. H. Parker, comparing the proposed change to the iniquitous funding bill of 1871, which remark caused a tilt between Mr. Parker and Mr. Browne. It is to be regretted that political discussion of this kind should occur in a farmers association, which has no reference to politics whatever.

The next meeting of the Association will be held at Onancock, on March 3rd.



Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Legislation

MR. EDITOR -- As the question of roads seems to be uppermost in the minds of the thoughtful portion of our citizens at present, I presume that any light however feeble its rays, will not be unacceptable to those of us who are endeavoring to find a solution to the problem of the hour. Presuming upon the patience and good will of the friends of the proposed reform, I venture to make the following proposition, viz: "Go slow." The heavens are full of days and the people are mighty. Don't attempt nor ask for too much in the outset. If you do, we will have a tax payer's rebellion, and we all know what that means. Money is yet the ruling power in this land, and it would be well to give due consideration to that fact, or else the best and wisest of plans for reform may fall still-born. So, therefore, I would propose in deference to all interests concerned, that this road reform be introduced gradually, and not at once, and universally as some of its friends propose. Such a measure would bear too heavy upon our already burdened taxpayers, and in many instances would be a useless waste of time and money. It is a fact known to everybody, that there are not a few public roads in this county that are of scarcely any use to the public generally, some of them being almost utterly abandoned. Every one will doubtless acknowledge that it would be folly for the county to spend money in repairing or rebuilding such roads such I understand would necessarily be done if some propositions now before the people were to become laws. Instead of having our representatives pass such bills, suppose we ask them to pass a bill embodying the following propositions.

That a road tax shall be levied upon all property and upon every person liable to road duty under existing laws.

That every one so liable shall have the privilege of working out his road tax on the roads if he desires to do so.

That the supervisors be vested with discretionary power to let to contract for rebuilding, or for annual repairs such roads as they may deem of such public importance as will justify the necessary expenditure of money.

That a road master shall be appointed in each magisterial district who shall be paid a regular salary, and who shall be responsible to the court for the condition of such roads in their respective district, as shall have been let to contract for rebuilding or repairs.

That all such roads as may not be let to contract for repairs, shall continue to be worked under the present system until such a time as our finances will admit, and the exigencies of the public service require that they too, (or the more important ones) shall be brought under the contract system.

By the adoption of some such plan as I have above roughly outlined, the burdens incident to a reform in the methods of working roads will be so placed that the readiest objector will hardly find reason for complaint, and in a few years if the plan is persistently and systematically pursued, good roads throughout the county will result.


Seaside, Feb. 8th.


Transportation -- Road - Maintenance

MR. EDITOR -- I am overseer of one of the county roads and I must say it is the most unpleasant job I ever had. I am anxious to do what is right and to keep the road in good condition, but how am I to do it? I do not see. One-fourth of the hands have openly said they were done with it -- that the constable could make nothing out of them, and they had no horse or cart, and those who use the road may take them as they are or do them up.

I try to persuade them that they ought not to drop and let the work fall on a few, but it does no good. Then when the hands do come, more talk than work and all are anxious to leave as soon as they get there, and they are pushing on filling up holes here and there -- and the work is over. There is no business in this. I do believe that ten cents a piece from each man would do more work, if it was paid for. I do not want the office, in fact I doubt if I am suited to it -- under the existing circumstances I know I cannot manage. But the Judge said I must hold on two years before I can give it up.

Now what is the use to keep a man in a place that he don't want and is not fitted for? No body need expect me to do any great sight, and I don't believe they will be disappointed. I do not wish to call the hands any oftener than I possibly can, and then I am not going to quarrel and fall out with my neighbors for an office that pays nothing and that I do not want, even if it did pay ten times what it does. I just hope to get out of it and let some one else have it, for I am tired out with it.

Your correspondent from Marsh Market thinks the county should spend money from Hallwood to Sanford steamboat landing, a distance of 8 1/2 miles, and says it is a matter in which everyone is interested, and that the county should spend money there. Now, we are all, I expect in the same position and would like to have our own neighborhood improved by good roads. I say let it be done in the lower part of the county. Hack's Neck is as bad as Messongo. Now, how would it do to divide the money between the magisterial districts according as they contribute and have it spent by some one in the district -- that man, no matter who, would certainly know more about what he was doing, than the Judge and the lawyers who direct the spending of it now. For I doubt if they even know all the roads in the county. I know I do not see them much in this neighborhood, and there are plenty of men about here, who would make good use of the money if they were appointed to and paid to work paid hands, for that is the only kind of work I am sure will ever accomplish anything -- forced labor is worthless and is getting more so if possible.



Sea -- Finfish - Catch : MenhadenSea -- Finfish - Legislation

A movement, the origin of which must be credited to the Philadelphia Times, is now well under way to suppress the menhaden in shore fisheries, and a bill to that effect is before the committee on fisheries in the United States House of Representatives. It is claimed that these fisheries, for the manufacture of oil and fertilizers, are destructive to good fish, in which the menhaden is not included, but the people engaged in that business deny the allegation "in toto" and have a powerful lobby in Washington to fight against restriction. The issue will be watched with a good deal of interest in the region contiguous to Norfolk -- Norfolk Ledger.

We call special attention to the above. To the people of the Eastern Shore, this is a question of much moment. We have many people engaged in this industry and many thousands of dollars are invested in it. We have not seen the bill referred to, but take it that "inshore fisheries" will include those of the Chesapeake and tributaries, equally with the proposed forbidden waters within three miles of shore. The Times has evidently taken no pains to examine this question but glibly speaks of, and ignorantly leads a movement, it knows practically or theoretically nothing of, and with the pettiness of ignorance assails all who oppose the iniquity as lobbyists. The fact is few game fish are ever caught in these nets; those who engage in them say they never get enough for the use of the crews, and, as at the fishery of Fowler, Foote & Co., and Powell, Morse & Co., and others, if game fish are desired a special fisherman has to be detailed. Further, the scientific men who have made fishing the study of their lives as the late Professor Baird, McDonald and others -- declare that far less game fish are destroyed by the nets than are by the fish who prey upon them, which latter are taken in great number continually. No wonder those "engaged in that business, deny the allegation in toto" -- they know practically the facts and are backed by the scientists. There is evidently "a wheel within a wheel" in this matter with King Capital oiling the axles. We call on Col. Browne to shed light on the subject before the Committee on Fisheries and strangle the robber monster without delay.


Sea -- Finfish - Regulation

Dr. John T. Wilkins, Jr., of Northampton, will probably be the next Commissioner of Fisheries for Virginia. Col. McDonald recommends him as his successor, and says he is the best posted man in that line in Virginia, and the Governor, as we are advised, naturally attaches so much importance to his opinion in the matter that he is compelled to be guided by his judgment. Dr. Wilkins is doubtless well fitted for the position, having already had considerable practical experience of the duties which will be required of him as sub Commissioner under Col. McDonald, and for many years has been a student of pisciculture. We shall be happy to hear of his appointment.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 11, 1888