Cannon Ferry in Chowan County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Herring Fishing Industry
In the mid 1940S, twelve local fishermen decided to join together to create a cooperative business where fish could be bought, sold, and processed. The business changed hands several times over the years. One of the last owners was the Perry Wynns Fish Company who also operated a fishery in Colerain, NC. During their ownership, the fishery expanded from one large wooden building to several cinder block buildings near the original.
“When the Chowan River prospered, then Chowan County prospered as well. Herringís what kept Chowan County floating.” –Herbert Modlin, third generation fisherman
Many fish houses and fisheries were located at this site. The above photo is an aerial view of Cannonís Ferry in circa 1970s (courtesy of Mack Hendrix). Perry Wynns Fish Company appears in the photo on the left (courtesy of Jane Joyner). On the right boats unload herring at the fishery (courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History).
“Itís hard work, but itís pretty fishing.” –Herbert Byrum, fifth generation fisherman
The Annual "Run"
The herring industry provided Chowan County and its residents a strong economy and prominent food source for many years. Although the industry has declined in recent years due to low fish populations, herring fishing remains to be an important part of Chowan County culture.
Joe Byrum (top left) bails herring captured in a pound net into his boat. (Courtesy of Bobby Byrum). (Top center): Illustration of a pound net. (Courtesy of Bobby Byrum). (Right): Illustration of the inside of Perry Wynns Fish Company (Courtesy of Carroll Pery,Jr.)
(Far right): Many local workers were employed at the fishery at Cannonís Ferry to clean and cut herring,
Location. 36° 16.248′ N, 76° 40.352′ W. Marker is in Cannon Ferry, North Carolina, in Chowan County. Marker is on Cannons Ferry Road 0.4 miles west of Dillardís Mill Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tyner NC 27980, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Chowan River (a few steps from this marker); The Cannonís Ferry Community (a few steps from this marker); War on the Chowan River (within shouting distance of this marker); William P. Roberts (approx. 10.2 miles away); Gates County Confederate Monument (approx. 10.2 miles away); Gates County Courthouse (approx. 10.2 miles away); Reid's Grove School (approx. 11.3 miles away); A Rare Monument (approx. 12.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cannon Ferry.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 499 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.