Peninsula Enterprise, February 4, 1888


reprinted from Norfolk Ledger, 2nd.Transportation -- Railroad - Steamboats

This fine steamer, belonging to the N.Y., P. & N. R.R., arrived here this morning, in charge of Capts. W. C. Almy and C. B. Jenkins, after a run of 21 hours and 45 minutes, including four stoppages, making at times 15 knots an hour. The railroad tracks on the steamer have been removed, and the open space forward closed in by bulkheads, making her an exceedingly comfortable boat, with immense freight room and accommodations for a large number of passengers. A reporter of this paper was shown over the steamer by Captain Jenkins, and saw much to admire in her since the changes have been made. He was particularly struck with her steam steering apparatus, which is the most complete and effective he ever saw, and which divests the operation of steering almost entirely of labor. It is thought, but not officially stated, that double daily trips over the road will commence about the 6th inst.


reprinted from Wicomico News.Moral -- Alcohol

Accomac county, Va., is a local option county, but Deputy Collector Truitt tells us he has issued forty government stamps for liquor venders in that county, against twenty-eight in Wicomico.


Farmers -- Farmers' organizations

Hon. W. L. Scott has given the agricultural society recently organized at Cape Charles, a free lease of 34 acres of land for ten years. The name of the Association has been changed to the Chesapeake Agricultural Association.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Real estate

Fox's Island, sold by Gunter & Blackstone, special commissioners, at Accomac C. H., last Monday was bid off to Capt. H. L. Crockett for the sum of $300.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Town

Accomac C. H.

A petition for incorporating our town has been forwarded to the General Assembly, and Hon. John W. G. Blackstone requests all persons opposed to such measure to make known their complaints at once, either by petition or otherwise.


Infrastructure -- Public : Fire companiesInfrastructure -- Commercial - HotelsArchitecture -- Commercial buildings

Belle Haven.

Our citizens witnessed last Sunday night the largest fire known in the history of the town. Kellam's hotel was burned to the ground. The fire broke out at 12 o'clock, and was first discovered by Mr. Arthur Kellam, who was awakened by sparks of fire falling into his face. At the time of the discovery the roof was ablaze, and starting as it did at that point the presumption is that it had its origin from a spark from the chimney. The most of the furniture on the lower floor of the hotel was saved, but all the furniture in the upper rooms, including property belonging to Mr. A. D. Doremus, the lessee of hotel, his two daughters and Miss Kellam were entirely destroyed. The hotel had recently been enlarged by an addition 25x50 feet, the original part, known as the old hotel, being 40x50 feet and was built in 1701. The loss on hotel building was about $4,000 and was insured for $2,500. Doughty's hotel on opposite side of street caught fire in several places, also dwelling occupied by Mr. John T. Young, but both were saved by active efforts of the citizens present. -- Fortunately there was a light wind at time of fire or half of the town would have been destroyed.


Infrastructure -- Utilities - IceTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Music


Messrs. Mason & Barnes, as well as T. Johnson have recently erected two new ice houses. The first mentioned firm have now two large buildings for that purpose which are at present filled with clean solid ice, amounting to considerably over two hundred tons. They propose during the coming summer season to supply the demand here at moderate rates.

During the last twelve months five upright pianos of different makes, and a number or organs, have been purchased by the residents of this community.


Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Shell surfacingTransportation -- Railroad - FreightSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : PricesWeather -- Freezes

Marsh Market.

The roads in this section will be almost impossible if not repaired soon. They need draining and shelling and an appropriation should be made by the county for that purpose. Repairs are needed on them from Hallwood station to Sanford steamboat landing, a distance of 8 1/2 miles. It is a matter in which every one is interested, and none more so than the Railroad Co. The shipments over the railroad would be much larger if we had good roads, and a contribution from said company would be a judicious investment. Our people heartily endorse the movement now on foot for the improvement of roads, and will glady welcome any change in the system of working thereon, come from whatever quarter it may.

Oysters shipped from this place last week, to S. C. Hall -- Co., 315 S. Front street, Phil., sold at the following figures -- primes $3.50 to $4, culls $3 to $3.25.

Messongo Creek at the time of writing is frozen over, and from 100 to 150 barrels of oysters are being taken from the ice and shipped by rail to Philadelphia daily. The prices received for them are satisfactory.


Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal ordersMoral -- AlcoholWeather -- Freezes


At the meeting of Accomac Tent, I. O. Rechabites, held January 27th, the following officers were elected: Noah E. Miles, shepherd; Wesley Crandall, past chief ruler; Wm. C. Lewis, chief ruler; Geo. P. Miles, deputy ruler; Geo. W. Glenn, recording secretary; Jas. H. Linton, financier; Wm. E. Evans, treasurer; J. Wesley Young, levite; L. F. Marshall, inside watchman; John W. Justice, outside watchman; Joseph Cutler, chaplain.

This Order is in a flourishing condition in the county, and Accomac Tent has 60 members. The sentiment in favor of prohibition, the principal object of the Order, is evidently a growing one in this locality.

Our people "have made the best" of the late cold weather, and have passed the time pleasantly, in some instances profitably, in skating, gunning, muskrat hunting, taking the bivalves through the ice, &c.

Meeting of Citizens of Accomac County to Consider the Public Road System.

Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Legislation

Pursuant to a call of citizens of Atlantic District, Accomac county, a meeting of the people was held at Atlantic, January 28th, to consider the best method of repairing and keeping in order the public roads of the county. -- Mr. John D. Parsons briefly explained the object of the meeting.

On motion Mr. Parsons was chosen chairman and Mr. S. W. Matthews, secretary.

Capt. Orris Browne, who had been invited to attend the meeting, was called on to express his views, which he did at some length. He showed the important position the county held as compared with other counties of the State in material progress and wealth. He argued that because of the thrift and business habits of the people, and their advance in all private affairs, it was all the more necessary that the public should be provided with good highways. That the county in private affairs was making rapid strides -- and progress was seen on every hand. It was useless for any man or set of men, to attempt to stay the march of progress the county had entered on -- it would in spite of all obstacles go forward; the road system must be improved and it would be; those who would not go forward in the new era might curl themselves up and sleep if they would, "the sleep which knows no waking." That of the 3,000 Democratic voters of this county, fully 546 were with him on this subject, and it will be accomplished. He fully characterized the inequalities and injustice of the existing road laws. To show the individual expense of the present system he called on the 2,145 farmers of the county to calculate the loss on crop delivery alone -- and illustrated it by referring to the farmer who delivered 1,000 barrels of produce in the ordinary way. Carrying but 5 barrels at a cart load, it required 200 trips to shipping point, whereas, making the roads so that 6 barrels could be carried at a load, 33 loads would be saved to him -- these loads representing dollars to him. Two days ago he saw the teams of Hon. Wm. L. Scott, at Cape Charles City, of two mules and a wagon each, hauling on his improved roads 50 barrels to the load. See the gain, the common sense and business in that sort of work. He declared the county could well afford to pay for this, one of the most important interests now agitating the people. That the county was valued for assessment $4,000,917, and had an income of $683,962. The county was able to pay $10,000 for good roads, if necessary, as any individual worth $4,600 with an income of $683 was to buy a $10 suit of clothes. That to hold on to the present system of waste and worry, was just about as sensible as for a man to hold on to a worn out suit of clothes handed down by his father -- which alternately "tattered and torn," patched and darned, had lost all semblance of the original articles. He showed the cost of the present system and incidental loss by the following table:

Tax collected for all road purposes on property $4,100
Loss sustained by 6590 men, forced to work free on the roads at 50 cents each per year 3,295
Loss sustained on 4,390 horses valued at $217,908, the impaired usefulness 5 per cent 10,895
Loss on 5,273 wheel vehicles valued at $61,305, wear and tear brought on by bad roads 4,577
Depreciation of real estate -- 246,023 acres of land at $1 per acre for ten years equal to 10 cents per acre per year 24,602
Giving total expenses and incidental loss of $47,559

for the people of the county of Accomac one year. And then argued that a change must be had from this expensive yet fruitless system of repairing and keeping the public highways.

The meeting by unanimous vote, endorses the views expressed by Captain Browne, and tendered him a vote of thanks for his admirable exposition of the subject in hand.

The following preamble and resolutions were then offered and unanimously adopted:

Whereas, experience has shown clearly that the changed conditions of society, and the necessities upon us in the new relations we sustain as truckers, as well as farmers, that our present system of road making and working is an absolute failure; and,

Whereas, we must of necessity seek some other and better system that we may have good roads for our use, therefore be it

Resolved, That in our judgment the best method to secure for us good roads, lies in paid and intelligently directed labor, to be used under the best possible conditions, to be met by an equitable and just tax on all property and interests.

Resolved, That the Senator from this district, the member of the House from this county, and the Floater Delegate, are hereby instructed to prepare a bill which will be effective and efficient in its provisions to keep our public roads in accord with the above resolution, introduce it in their respective bodies, urge it to a passage and the approval of the Governor, at the earliest possible day.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be furnished to each of our members of the Legislature, to the county newspapers and to the State and Dispatch newspapers published in the city of Richmond. Whereupon expressing the hope that the people of the county would heartily second their efforts for the improvement of the public highways, the meeting was adjourned.






Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Taxation

Some of our people seem to fear that the system of roadmaking, working and repairing roads proposed by the meeting at Atlantic Saturday last will compel the laying of a heavy tax upon them. -- Those who think so must be ignorant of the recorded fact, that some months ago the Board of Supervisors assessed for the present fiscal year a tax of nine cents on the $100 of all taxables -- producing a fund of $4,100 for all road purposes. This sum is believed by the friends of the system to be sufficient to do the work when it shall be done by "paid and intelligently directed labor." But, however, should this prove insufficient a further tax of three cents on the $100 of all taxables (to which a head tax should be added to equalize taxation and compel all to contribute) would raise the $4,100 to $5,500 -- a sum deemed by them more than ample. This tax could scarcely be called grievous and onerous. For it must be borne in mind that the assessed tax of nine cents on the $100 is (for this year certainly) a solid, fixed and unchangeable fact -- and, too, the burden of the method of it has been borne by the tax payers for years without the shadow of complaint. This tax is to be paid anyway whether the system be changed or not. So if to meet the exigencies of the proposed new system a tax must be levied it would be solely and only that of three cents on the $100 -- giving for the whole county the sum only of $1,500! What a terrible scarecrow this added burden, proves on investigation! Why, the county of Spottsylvania lately paid for pine poles alone to secure passway over her abominable roads the sum of $1,000 -- in fact buried in her clay $1,000 simply because her system is just ours! The truth is, what is needed is to have the full "light turned on" so that the masses of the people may fully and clearly understand exactly what the facts are of the matter. If they did thoroughly understand there would be no "kicking."

There are, also, some who are really, if we judge them by their expressed opinions, people of a generation ago -- who are so wedded to "the customs of their fathers" that any change even for the better sets their nerves all awry -- and who continually and monotonously cry out, "Daddy did so, and his daddy did so before him, and what daddy did and daddy's daddy did is good enough for me -- or anybody else." Let these people keep to the old wooden plow, the wooden axle, the crosscut saw, the "stick" gig, and "sich," and be as happy as the hurly burly of go ahead will permit them in the dreams of their Rip Van Winkle sleep. Drive steadily, ye men of progress, and disturb them as little as may be for they must not be hurt by the rattle and bustle of these progressive times. Yes, drive steadily but "all the same" -- DRIVE ON.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 4, 1888