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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Eastport in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Watermen of Back Creek

 
 
The Watermen of Back Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
1. The Watermen of Back Creek Marker
Inscription. During the 1920s, the houses on this street belonged to African-American families. Most of the men living here worked on the water, launching often home-built boats from their back yards. They harvested oysters from September to April, and crabs in the summer.

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′ 
The Watermen of Back Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
2. The Watermen of Back Creek Marker
Small park at the intersection where the marker is located.
W. Marker is in Eastport, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is at the intersection of Chester Avenue and Fourth Street, on the right when traveling south on Chester Avenue. 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); Welcome to Eastport (approx. 0.2 miles away); Three Great Boat Yards, One Location (approx. mile away); Visionaries of the 1960s (approx. mile away); A Tale of Three Bridges (approx. mile away); Eastport's Old "Main Street" (approx. mile away); The Glass Works (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eastport.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyAfrican AmericansIndustry & Commerce
 
Chester Avenue image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
3. Chester Avenue
Modern homes along Chester Avenue near the marker, looking east.
 
 
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 812 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 23, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.
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