Eastport in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Watermen of Back Creek
Hand-tonging for oysters was a tough way to make a living. Lyle Smith, who grew up here, went out with his grandfather just once: "I was culling oysters, trying to keep my hands warm, and when my fingers got cold, I said, 'This is the first and the last.' I've never been out on an oyster boat since."
With time, the economic and cultural climate of this Eastport neighborhood has changed. Wooden boat building and oystering are no longer a way of life.
Text with upper-right photo: Charles Thompson (right) and his family built workboats and pleasure boats here.
Text with left photo: Oystermen use long-shafted tongs to harvest oysters. Once piled on the "culling tray" in the middle of the boat, undersized oysters were "culled," or tossed back in the water to replenish the oyster reefs.
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, Annapolis Maritime Museum, Four Rivers Garden Club.
Location. 38° 58.147′ N, 76° 28.806′ Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Annapolis MD 21403, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eastport's Soul (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Maritime Tradition Lives On (about 500 feet away); Bay Workboats (approx. 0.2 miles away); Welcome to Eastport (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harvesting the Bay (approx. 0.2 miles away); Deadrise Defined (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cap'n Herbie Sadler (approx. 0.2 miles away); Skipjack Lydia D (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eastport.
Categories. • 20th Century • African Americans • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 23, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 853 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 23, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.