Peninsula Enterprise, January 16, 1892


reprinted from Cape Charles Headlight.Infrastructure -- Commercial - Real estate

There was sold during the year 1891, in the county of Northampton, 3,319 and a half acres of land at the price of $91,175.25 or $27.46 per acre; 43 lots at Cape Charles, Exmore, Eastville station, Cobb's Island, Franktown and Nassawadox, at $15,472.25 or $359.92 each.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Hotels

Accomac C. H.

The erection of a new hotel building in our town at an early day, now seems assured beyond a reasonable doubt. The projectors of the enterprise are Messrs. William P. Bell and Alfred J. Lilliston, and the site selected is on the corner property of Mr. Bell, occupied by offices, which will be removed to make room for the same. The building is to be 60 X 70 feet and three stories high. Plans and specifications for same are now being considered.


Infrastructure -- Public : Sidewalks, etc.Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : PackingMoral -- Other violent crime

Belle Haven.

Improvements are now being made in the way of brick sidewalks & c., to our town.

The oyster shucking business at Willis Wharf, seems to be a little quiet at present, on account of warm weather and low prices.

Mr. J. R. James, who was shot a short time since by Mr. Judson Ashby, is rapidly improving. Mr. Ashby has returned to his home safely, and matters, we understand, have been satisfactorily adjusted.


Infrastructure -- Public : SchoolsTransportation -- Railroad - FreightTransportation -- Railroad - SteamboatsSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideProfessionals -- Seafood dealersTransportation -- Water - Boat buildingTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Boat racingTransportation -- Water - WrecksInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving service


The new schoolhouse, down the Island, so long talked of, has at last been completed and Miss Mollie Stevens, of Pocomoke city, has been engaged as teacher for same.

Superintendent Holiday, of Delaware division, while in town, this week, ordered steamer Widgen to make three trips instead of two daily to Franklin City, and with the extra trip, has to be assisted by several sail vessels in taking oysters shipped from her to market. Six hundred barrels were forwarded by that route, Tuesday. Several buyers are here from the Northern markets.

A bateaux built by Capt. John Richardson, for Mr. Henry Timmons, to beat all boats of that class, not over 18 feet, has recently been delivered. With his opinion of her speed at present, he would hardly decline the challenge of a steam yacht.

Steamship Miranda, from north of England, bound to Breakwater, in ballast for orders, of 1,200 tons register, went ashore on 12th inst., at Ragged Point, about 3 miles south of Pope's Island Life Saving Station. In a few minutes after she struck the beach, Capt. Bloxom and crew, were on hand, and are highly praised by the captain and crew of steamship, 24 in all, for their promptness in rescuing them.


Transportation -- Road - Legislation


Our people are not taking very much interest in the proposed road law. All they ask is, that, they and their property be taxed to a reasonable amount for road purposes and that they be entirely released from working the public roads. I am fully satisfied though, that imprisonment for failure to pay road fine would create quite a howl amongst the oystermen and many others. Nor does your correspondent believe, that they would be willing to work on the public roads more than two days in the year, nor to commute at a greater amount than one dollar.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial construction


Greatest improvement on Main street is the glass front and wire shieldings of our enterprising merchants, Boggs & Groton.


Natural resources -- Conservation - GameInfrastructure -- Public : Fences


The sportsmen of this place hailed with joy the advent of the E. S. Game Protective Association. It is a move in the right direction. Though not specially interested in the game which it is specifically designed to protect, i. e. water fowl, they are generous enough to wish to aid their afflicted brethren of the sea and bayside.

Our people are almost unanimously in favor of a "stock, or no fence law, and a dog tax." We hope our representatives will have the courage, when the time comes, to grapple with the latter, the pseudo "bete noire" of most Legislators.

Meeting of the Peninsula Horticultural Society.

Farmers -- Farmers' organizationsFarmers -- InnovationDevelopment -- Boosterism


Please allow me space in your paper to call attention to the fifth annual meeting of the Peninsula Horticultural Society, which will be held this year in Dover, Delaware, January 19th, 20th and 21st. I am sorry that our people, as yet, have taken so little interest in this society, but it is probably due to the fact that their attention has not been called to it, and many, I fear, do not even know of its existence.

Geographically located as we are, between the broad Atlantic and the Chesapeake, we have a climate that cannot be surpassed and with our facilities for quick transportation, we must by nature of things, become a horticultural people. The subject of horticulture, then, should engage the attention of every one who tills the soil, and especially our people. We might ask then, what is horticulture? In a broad use of the term, I would define it as "the most perfect method of tilling the earth so as to secure the best results whether the products be objects of utility or of beauty." What a wide, beautiful and interesting subject thus opens up before us!

The object of this society, then I would state, is to bring together men of experience to discuss such important questions as relate to our avocation, that we may be the better prepared to measure up to the demands of the times.

In this society we came together as brethren in a common cause, desirous to open and expound this volume of nature, and desire all who are interested in the subject, to unite with us.

Important papers will be read and discussed on fruits in general, small fruits, vegetables, marketing fruits, injurious insects, fungus diseases, crates, fertilizers and various other things of interest to our people. We need to learn from out people. We need to learn from our more experienced brethren of the upper peninsula of Maryland and Delaware, and I would suggest, that every sub-Alliance and Grange in the county, delegate one of their best men to this annual meeting, and my word for it, they will return encouraged and enthused and will be doubly compensated for any sacrifice they may have to make.

Never has there been a period in the history of our county, when in was so necessary for our farmers to use their God-given power -- Mind -- as at the present. With the ghost of failure and the greedy hand of monopolies staring us in the face, the time has arrived when every tiller of the soil should forsake the hard-beaten paths of our fore-fathers and inquire if there is not a better and more remunerative way.

We live in an age of push and improvement and we must advance or our more jealous brethren will out-strip us in the march of life and we will never reach the desired goal. Corn, oats and sweet potatoes may have done for the past when labor was cheap and production small, but now when labor is high and overproduction has brought us unremunerative prices, the time has come when we must diversify our crops. Be not discouraged. These failures, I believe, are blessings in disguise to drive our people to other branches of agriculture; and I believe the day is not far distant when under the dispensation of Divine Providence a brighter day shall dawn upon our people.

A few months ago I passed through Long Island and viewed her as one vast garden, I could but exclaim, that the period was not far distant when such would be the case with this dear old Peninsula. And as I see the unfoldings of Providence, more fully I do believe, that I was then correct.

But, Mr. Editor, Pardon me for this digression. When I started out, I only intended to call a brief notice to this meeting, but the subject looms up before me as I proceed.

Again let me urge our people to rally in the support of the Peninsula Horticultural Society and I trust to meet more of them this year than ever before. Name with the annual membership fee of one dollar ($1) can be sent to the secretary, Wesley Webb, Wilmington, Del., or to

A. J. McMath, Onley, A.,

Vice-president for Accomac.

The Proposed Road Law.

Transportation -- Road - Legislation


The plan of a road law formulated at Accomac C. H. on the 6th inst., is now before our people for criticism and adoption, or rejection. Its authors are, doubtless, honest in their intentions, but they are not in touch with the masses of our people. Time will prove this assertion. Some perhaps care little for public sentiment and think their plans should be carried through -- no matter how much discontent they may occasion. To such I would commend this sentence from the admirable speech of ex-President Cleveland at the Jackson banquet in New York. "We should not forget that after all our plans, we must meet face to face the voters of our land, with ballots in their hands, demanding as a condition of their support, justice and an equitable distribution of public burdens." Now I say emphatically that it is not just or fair to require labor to contribute about $1,500 towards making our public roads while property contribute but half that sum and receives more than three-fourth of the benefits.

The National Democratic "watch cry" is "reduce taxation" -- "relieve the masses of part of their heavy burdens," and here in Accomac it is now seriously proposed to double the poor man's capitation tax. The un-wisdom of this course ought to be apparent to thinking men. Go among the laborers, small property holders and oystermen, and ask them how they like this four-day-labor feature of the new road law, and you will find that it meets with almost universal condemnation. Indeed I have not found one man in my neighborhood -- poor or rich -- that endorses it. At my store Saturday night, your synopsis of the bill was read aloud to forty or more persons, and not one voice was raised in its defence; but all agreed that two days' labor with the privilege of commuting by the payment of one dollar road tax is all that labor should contribute towards road-making.

This proposed law is evidently the emasculated, disembowelled and mutilated remains of Mr. Gillet's law, and is far inferior to its prototype. In fact, I think the Gillet law by simply substituting two days for the four days labor (or commute at 50 cents per day,) would be acceptable to our people. But the heart was cut out of that bill when the provision for borrowing $25,000 was stricken out. That great bug-bear frightened the timid. Suppose other parts of old Virginia had been as easily frightened as some of our people -- would she to day be in the very forefront of the great Southern Commonwealths?

Borrowed capital has built her wonderful system of railroads, inaugurated great mining operations and established immense manufacturing plants. Towns beautiful and prosperous now stand where owls and foxes had their hiding places but a few years ago. Shall old Accomac with her soft and genial climate, fertile soil and waters on either side abounding in all the luxuries of the seas, lag behind in the great race of progress? We want live men, not laggards to build up and develop our resources. I want to see this Peninsula like Long Island, (which it much resembles,) teeming with wealth and prosperity, with rich truck farms and beautiful villas lining our highways. And it seems to me the first step in the race of progress must begin with our public roads. They should be made good by improved road machinery. But this much officered bill of the Drummondtown Convention, evidently proposes to do the work with the spade, shovel and hoe; otherwise they would have no use for the vast army of officers. I hope the people will bury this antiquated and unfair bill, and adopt in its stead Mr. Gillet's plan, with the simple change of "four days" to two days labor or one dollar commutation tax, in advance. I should give this my support and I feel sure it would satisfy our people and produce good roads this year -- not four or five years hence, or perhaps never.



Transportation -- Road - Legislation

The road law drafted at a meeting held at Accomac C. H., on the 6th, a synopsis of which was published in our last issue, does not seem to be acceptable to the people of Accomac, and it is doubtful if a majority of the voters of the county would favor its adoption. One feature, at least, appears to be so objectionable, that hardly a doubt exists that it would be defeated if submitted to a popular vote, to wit, the clause requiring four days labor or a tax of two dollars on all male persons over 18 and under 60 years. That clause modified on the other hand in accordance with popular demand, creates a deficiency in the road revenues, and the question then recurs, can the property bear further taxation? The majority of property holders would likely decide in the negative. "Here's the rub" and such the dilemma, in which the delegates who are to meet in convention on the 3rd of February, will find themselves, and the query is pertinent, what are they going to do about it? That roads cannot be built without money is a self evident proposition -- but if neither capital of labor will submit to the burdens imposed for raising it, then only two things remain for consideration, to wit, to continue the same old system of road making which has existed here from time immemorial or to borrow money on long time bonds payable in easy instalments as suggested by Judge Gillet, and endorsed by Mr. Parsons. Which method fellow citizens will you endorse? You speak through the delegates selected in your precinct meetings, and their action should be final. An annual capitation tax of $1, and borrowed money on long time bonds seem to point to the solution of the knotty problem.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
January 16, 1892