Peninsula Enterprise, April 25, 1885


Laborers -- OtherMoral -- Other

The merchants of Drummondtown now promptly close their doors at 8 o'clock p. m. The arrangement is a good one as it not only enables the clerks to get a needful recreation, but insures "better order" in the town.




The bodies of Mrs. Turner, her son and niece, drowned some days ago have been found and buried.


Transportation -- Railroad - OtherArchitecture -- Courthouses


The south bound train killed Mr. Wm. E. Ames' pet cat on the 16th.

Our people are for the court-house to stay where it is.


Fields -- Crops - Sweet potatoes : Seed and slipsTransportation -- Railroad - Stations and sidingsTransportation -- Railroad - FreightFields -- Crops - Strawberries


The crop of sweet potato plants is promising, and the supply will be ample to meet the wants of our farmers.

The new superintendent of the N. Y. P. & N. R.R., Mr. W. H. Dunne, has recognized the advantages of Edmond's Crossing as a shipping depot, by deciding to make it a flag, perhaps a regular station. A "siding" will be put in there, freight houses built, etc., at an early day.

The purchase of berry plants and other small fruits in this section is large this season. Our people are preparing to avail themselves of the profits which facilities for transportation by rail now offers, in them.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal serviceAfrican-Americans -- Work - Business And professional Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - BaseballInfrastructure -- Commercial - Residential construction


Many and loud have been the murmurs against the railroad for delaying our mails of late.

Mr. Archie Campbell has sold his liquor and grocery business to Thomas Harmon, colored. He is our first colored merchant.

There was a match game of base ball here, last Wednesday, between a nine from the Academy and one from the College, which resulted in a victory for the latter by a score of 24 to 13.

Mr. George Killman has begun the erection of his new dwelling on King street.

Life Saving Service.

Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving serviceTransportation -- Water - Strandings

Chincoteague, Va. April 18,

Editor of Enterprise: I wish to return through your columns my sincere thanks to Capt. James T. Tracey and crew of Assateague Life Saving Station for the timely assistance rendered me on Sunday April 12, when my vessel was in a sinking condition, caused by striking on Chincoteague bar. If said assistance had not been rendered promptly the result would have been of a very serious nature. In twenty minutes from hoisting signal of distress the life saving crew boarded me.

J. C. HAMMELL, Master Schooner "R. B. Leedes," of Absecom, N.J.

Our Roads.

Transportation -- Road - Maintenance

MR. EDITOR: A stranger prospecting for a home in a country new to him will be sure to ask, among other leading questions, Have you good water? Have you good roads? In this favored section of God's footstool, we can answer to the first question: Yes! as pure, as sweet, as sparkling, as cool as that gushing from mountain side. To the second, we hang our heads in shame when we reflect how much nature has done for us, and how we have not only refused to aid her but with willful and remorseless disregard of our best interests have scratched our roads just enough to make them worse, and reply, "tole'ble." To have good roads -- solid, smooth roads -- clear of ruts, holes, heavy sandstretches and water puddles, is with us an easy task if only the proper means are adopted to secure them. -- An outlay at first of not a large amount would lay the foundation, and their future care would be easy. It is well that we should have a new Courthouse "with all the modern improvements," but, we sadly need good roads on which to drive to it. It is all very well to say, as the genial and sympathetically enthusiastic Moveists insist, that we can go to the Courthouse on the C-a-i-r-s -- but I know certainly a dozen men who will be compelled to use their own teams, besides some two dozen more whose only means of reaching there is to ride "Shanks' Mare" -- and all these need good roads. Besides, people not only wish to go to the C.H., but they sometimes wish to go to church, the village, the political meeting, to see neighbors, friends and relatives, to haul their trucks and produce to shipping point. To do this quickly, easily, safely, they need good roads. It is for these people and for none other, I wish to offer a few suggestions about Our Roads.

To our present system of road working there are at least four objections -- probably many more.

1. The "Road Surveyor" or Overseer is appointed by the court "willy-nilly" -- he must serve whether he will or not. If he does his whole duty he incurs the illwill of seven-tenths of his neighbors on his "road precinct" -- and if he don't they all growl over the state of the roads and he gets roundly "set up." Having never done anything on the road save what his predecessor told him -- if he was ever there to be told -- he follows suit: fills the holes in wet weather, seeks to have his road level from side to side, makes drainage by a three cornered ditch, a couple of yards long, cut bias. This does well for a day or two and his road is now ready for travel, the grand jury, or the Court to appoint his successor. (You needn't tell it -- but in a little while that road is worse, if possible, than ever; the holes won't grow solid, the water ponds making a "frog hollow," or if near a schoolhouse a natatorium or a skating rink:) and his successor doeth likewise.

2. The roads under the present system are worked only, as a rule, in the leisure time, and this is usually when too wet for any real good, even if fully worked over. Hence no good roads.

3. The system bears unequally, and is therefore unjust. A landowner having five horses on the roads does no more than his neighbor who is not the owner of a buffalo steer -- while the woman landowner does nothing, her teams cutting up the roads equally with the tenant who must give his labor or pay his fine.

4. Offering only the roads themselves as evidence, the system is a failure. Whether this is because under this system the work is not done -- or the failure is inherent in the system itself, matters little. The fact remains.

Having assumed that our present system of road making is a failure, it follows I should suggest another. I am aware that the Solons of our late legislature "evolved from their inner consciousness" a road law which it authorized the Board of Supervisors to adopt if it saw proper -- it did not see proper and I think the people should be duly thankful therefor. I confess to formulate a good scheme for roadwork is by no means easy, but as I decide nothing -- only suggest. I proceed briefly outlining.

1. Let the Board of Supervisors take charge of the roads and see that they are kept in order.

2. The board to levy a tax upon personal and real property at such rates as may be by them considered sufficient for their working.

3. The Board to let to contract such lengths of roads as may be advisable to the lowest bidder for a term of years -- the contractor to give bond for the faithful performance of his duties.

4. All persons not owning sufficient real or personal property to create a tax of ______ to work ________ days each year on the road precinct whereon he lives -- or in default pay a fine of one dollar each day. As an aid let such proportion of the railroad tax as may not be turned over to the public schools be used for road purpose. This creates no new office contractor being substituted for "surveyor," with pay and bonded to do the work.

The tax above what is now levied, will not be heavy. It will bear equally. The property-holder paying out of his means -- the non-property holder giving his work. The machinery is simple. As compared with the results which ought to be obtained the cost will be small. This scheme seems to me to offer something substantial. At all events it will give, properly executed, what our present system never can, viz: good roads.

If a better, more simple, cheaper method which will give us good roads is suggested, by all means we should adopt that. In the meantime, let those interested think over the matter clearly and fully, and then -- act. One thing at least is certain, our roads are very bad -- distressingly bad. The wear and tear of wagons, carts and carriages, the strain and injury to teams, taken with all the smaller loads necessarily hauled, inflict a yearly loss which would go far to put them in the good condition they should be. The gain to the farmer in hauling his trucks to the point of shipment to be able to carry fifteen if not twenty barrels in his wagon, (or a proportionate number in his cart,) instead of the ten or twelve he now does, would be enormous. Such a result could be attained on our roads if properly worked -- and I do not mean that they should be shell roads either.

The better the roads the more rapid and easy the haulage -- gaining in time, weight carried and teams needed. By whatever scheme better roads are attained immense gain to the county, must follow. The importance of this step in our county's progress is too great to be lightly considered.

Coming back to my starting point (on the smooth, solid, easy moving roads under the above system,) we shall have removed a huge stumbling block in the path of the prospecting land-buyer, who, with capital to invest, wishes to settle among us -- and he becomes a free-holding citizen. Satisfied with the good things Accomack provides in such prodigal abundance he urges his neighbor, and his neighbors' neighbor, living in a less favored region, to come and settle in this Eden. Eloquently describing the beautiful county -- the luxuries of land and sea -- he winds up with what he believes the culmination of argument, (and will surely open the way for their coming) -- "and the roads are first-class!"


Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
April 25, 1885