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


Urbanna, Virginia


— The Museum in the Streets® —

Oysters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 25, 2021
1. Oysters Marker
Inscription.  From 1850s to the 1950s, the town's fall and winter economy was driven by oysters. Urbanna's strategic location to fertile Rappahannock River oyster beds encouraged oyster hand-tongers to come to town from September to March. Oystermen from Gloucester and Mathews counties and from Tangier Island sailed and latr motored their log canoes and deadrise boats to stay for the eason. Near this location, J.W. Hurley & Son Seafood had one of the largest oyster shucking and packing houses in the region. Right next door, Boys Hurley built and operated one of the most popular seafood restaurants in the area. The oyster industry waned in the 1950s when MSX, a deadly bacteria, killed millions of oysters throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. The oyster business has rebounded osme in recent years with innovations in farming/growing techniques, but the town's infrastructure that supported a large oyster industry is no longer in place. As a tribute to the oyster and what it meant to the town's economy over the centuries, the community in 1957 founded the annual Urbanna Oyster Festival and the Virginia General Assembly named it the state's official oyster
Oysters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 25, 2021
2. Oysters Marker
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festival in 1988. More than 60,000 people attend the annual event.
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 13.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureAnimalsIndustry & CommerceNotable EventsWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the The Museum in the Streets®: Urbanna, Virginia series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1957.
Location. 37° 38.202′ N, 76° 34.295′ W. Marker is in Urbanna, Virginia, in Middlesex County. Marker is on Oyster Road east of Virginia Street (Virginia Route 602), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 26 Oyster Rd, Urbanna VA 23175, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Prettyman’s Rolling Road (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Hub For Commerce (about 400 feet away); Civil War (about 400 feet away); The Backyard Garden Was Essential (about 500 feet away); John Mitchell’s Map (about 500 feet away); Old Tobacco Warehouse (about 500 feet away); Urbanna Museum & Visitors Center (about 500 feet away); Tobacco Road (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Urbanna.
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Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 28 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Dec. 7, 2021