Sunday, April 15, 2007
About pumpkins and bunny ears...
The story of Reedville, Virginia is linked to the commercial fishing industry that developed here in the late 19th century. In 1874 Elijah Reed transferred his menhaden fishing operation from Brooklin, Maine to the Chesapeake Bay. He purchased the land on Cockrell's Creek that is now Reedville. The industry flourished, especially in the early part of the 20th century. Today Reedville is one of the major ports for the landing of commercial fish in the United States, second only to Kodiak, Alaska.
For the inquisitive, Reedville is a fishing village located at the far eastern end of Virginia's Northern Neck, population around 300. It is located in Northumberland County, which has about 11,000 residents and no stop lights. Reedville is named for Captain Elijah Reed, who founded the town in 1874 when he started the menhaden fishing industry, which is still going today.
It features historic Victorian mansions built by factory owners and fishing boat captains. Main Street was known as "Millionaire's Row," home to wealthy fishermen who made their fortunes from the menhaden that was plentiful in the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. Captain Albert Morris and his wife built this three story Queen Anne styled Victorian house in 1895. It is one of the centerpieces of Reedville architecture. For instance, it is featured by the Reedville Museum in the Christmas lighting season. It is now a bed and breakfast. The elegant lower floor features "a tiled entrance hall and formal living and dining rooms that typify the wealth of the late 19th and early 20th century" industralist/entrepreneur. Captain Morris, along with his brother-in-law James Fisher, owned and operated the Morris-Fisher Menhaden Factory. Captain Morris died in 1903 and was buried in the Roselawn Cemetery on the outskirts of the town of Reedville. His monument has become a magnet for pranksters during each and every holiday that comes down the pike. This author, whose family recently purchased a home in the little town of Reedville, witnessed the bunny ears and cotton tail as Captain Morris' Easter finery. At Halloween, the pumpkin appears on his head as if by magic. Let's see...Earth Day is April 22nd...I wonder what the spirits have planned for him then??? I'll take more photographs as the year progresses to see what's in store for the late Captain Morris, bless his soul. I wonder if he finds the same humor in this as most of the residents of Reedville??? I guess with a population of only 300 and no stop-lights, the adornment of Captain Morris is a true celebration!!!