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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Reedville in Northumberland County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Reedville

 
 
Reedville Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 30, 2009
1. Reedville Marker
Inscription. Elijah W. Reed, a New England ship captain, established the town in 1874 after building a factory here to process menhaden, a small bony fish rich in oil. Reedville soon became the center of the industry and home port to the Atlantic menhaden fleet. By the early 20th century the town, which resembled a New England fishing village, reputedly had one of the highest per capita incomes in the country. Its historic district contains early fishermen’s houses and Victorian mansions. The oldest dwelling is the Walker House (1875).
 
Erected 1991 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number O-51.)
 
Location. 37° 51.126′ N, 76° 16.5′ W. Marker is in Reedville, Virginia, in Northumberland County. Marker is on Northumberland Highway (U.S. 360) just east of Liberty Road (County Route 726), on the right. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Reedville VA 22539, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Julius Rosenwald High School (approx. 0.6 miles away); The War of 1812 / African Americans in the War of 1812 (approx. one mile away); Indian Prisoners Abandoned on Tangier Island (approx. one
Reedville Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 30, 2009
2. Reedville Marker
mile away); Morris-Fisher Stack (approx. 1.4 miles away); Shiloh School (approx. 6.6 miles away); Jessie Ball duPont (approx. 8 miles away); Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve (approx. 8 miles away); Morattico Baptist Church (approx. 8.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Reedville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for Reedville. “Captain Reed moved his business from Brooklin, Maine to the Northern Neck, and brought to the established community of watermen a method of extracting large quantities of oil from the fish by rendering them by the millions. Their oil was used as a lubricant and in lighting, as whale oil was, and the leftover bones and carcasses were valuable as fertilizer. He opened the first processing plant. By 1885, Reedville was heavily engaged in the menhaden fishing industry. Menhaden factories on Cockrell Creek produced fish oil, meal and fertilizer from menhaden. The menhaden fishing industry brought tremendous wealth to Reedville and to Northumberland County. Reedville, a town of approximately 500, was once known as the wealthiest town in the United
Reedville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., August 11, 2010
3. Reedville Marker
States due to the large sums of money produced by the menhaden industry.” (Submitted on October 3, 2009.) 

2. Reedville Fishermen’s Museum. “The centerpiece of the exhibition is a 6'x8' diorama of the lower Northern Neck. It shows where Native Americans settled, how they lived and what their environment was like. It displays models of the boats involved, not only in Smith’s adventures, but also relating to the coast of Virginia. Surrounding this diorama are displays relating to the lifestyle of both the settlers and the native Americans. The wildlife and the vegetation of that period, as well as, the abundant sea life that awed Smith and his crew, are illustrated.” (Submitted on October 3, 2009.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesWaterways & Vessels
 
The Reed House, on Main Street in Reedville image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 30, 2009
4. The Reed House, on Main Street in Reedville
The Gables image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., August 11, 2010
5. The Gables
Completed in 1914, it was home to Capt. Fisher, who was made rich by the turn-of-the century menhaden fishery. It's gabled roof is aligned to eight points on a compass.
The Gables, from the water image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., August 11, 2010
6. The Gables, from the water
Building the Gables took eight years because Capt. Fisher was a stickler for certain details, and would often tear down what was built. In this picture, you can see the different colors of brick used in construction.
"The Stack" image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., August 11, 2010
7. "The Stack"
A symbol of Reedville's rich menhaden fishing heritage is this 130 foot tall smoke stack built circa 1902 by the Morris - Fisher Company to provide steam to power its fish processing operations. The Stack has served as a navigational landmark for working watermen and boaters as well as a welcoming beacon to the historic town of Reedville and surrounding areas. The Stack is in danger of collapsing, but there is an effort underway to preserve it.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 782 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of Walker House and other notable homes • Can you help?
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