Norfolk Virginian, October 10, 1890


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : DredgingLaborers -- FisheriesSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : MarketsProfessionals -- Commission merchants

Onancock, October 9.

From a careful recapitulation of official figures concerning the oyster industry, the following statistics, showing the figures concerning vessels hailing from this port, have been ascertained: Average value of vessels engaged in dredging, $1,500 each; average number of crew, 8; average number of bushels caught by each vessel, 2,000; average amount of each vessel's sales, $1,000; average worth of dredging apparatus, $50. The number of vessels engaged in the business is about 100. Other ports on the Eastern Shore, the figures are about the same with the exception of the number of boats employed. Thus it can be readily seen the magnitude of the industry and the money derived therefrom, the men's wages being mainly paid by a share of the profits, usually one-third.

Baltimore is the main selling port, Norfolk being more difficult of access to the dredgers from here, they usually working in the Potomac river, and Tangier sound.

Captain Orris A. Browne, of Cape Charles, has returned from New York, where he went to appear before the Board of Aldermen of that city, to urge upon them the impracticability of enacting the proposed law, requiring the weight of all produce shipped to that city, to be marked upon the packages. This law, if forced, would require a great deal of trouble and expense to our farmers, they being compelled to have all freight weighed before shipment. Action on the matter has been deferred.

Norfolk Virginian
October 10, 1890