Lem Crouch with his sons Hilton & Irving Back In The Day
There are few remaining who saw or remember Rock Hall as a major seafood harvesting, processing, shipping, retail and wholesale center and port. Clam and oyster shells piled higher than buildings, voices of the pickers and shuckers singing while working, trucks and boats traveling to and from the harbor areas. Fish in boats hip high, hard crabs swimming on top of the water, soft crabs beneath every clump of seaweed, oyster and clam shells scraping your toes when you jumped over board as you touched bottom, and water so clear you could see the bottom.
Many of us have good reason to believe it was pollution, major storms like Agnes, runoff, chemicals, sewage, the effects of other states in the watershed and Conowingo Dam releases that changed our life and town and not over-harvesting or large scale poaching.
In order to preserve an oral and visual recollection of this, The Mainstay has originated a project to capture the history of Rock Hall’s glorious days in the seafood industry. One part of The Mainstay mission is to enhance community projects. The subjects of this project are men and women, who worked in various fisheries in the the years of 1945 to 1972. The ages of the subjects that have been interviewed to date are from 62 to 94.
For this project, approximately 20 to 25 Rock Hall men and women will be interviewed and filmed by a professional videographer. Loblolly Productions of Still Pond has been chosen for the project.
Phase 1 of the project is interviews of men and women involved or working in Rock Hall during this period of time.
Phase 2 of the project is editing of parts of the interviews to produce a high quality DVD suitable for sale by our museums and to be used as a promotional piece for the town of Rock Hall.
Funding for this project will be in multiple phases. The Mainstay has pledged $2,000 for it, and Greater Rock Hall Business Association has approved a donation. The Mainstay will be seeking funding from its fundraising concerts, Kent County Arts Council, Kent County Waterman’s Association, Maryland Waterman’s Association and interested individuals.
The project is estimated to take two years and cost in the range of $12,000. Outreach for additional funding has already begun, and meetings are scheduled with potential sponsors.
Some interviews have already been conducted.
The coordinators for this project are Tom McHugh of The Mainstay, Ronnie Fithian, former Kent County Waterman’s Association President and current Kent County Commissioner and Rock Hall Town Manager, and Walter Bowie of Loblolly Productions. Robin Wood Kurowski and Rock Hall Wave will help facilitate information and media releases.
If you would like to make a pledge, you may contact Tom McHugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or make your commitment on the bottom of this page, Tom, Ronnie and Walter will see it.
Thank you and bless your hearts!