By Tom Badger
Accomack County's background revolves round components: the land and the ocean. The land is fertile, able to generating nice bounty, and Accomack is surrounded through the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. So Accomack has loved benefits: a capability to supply meals and the technique of getting it to industry. Public wharves have been as soon as situated on many creeks the place farmers could carry plants for industry. Then, in 1884, the railroad got here via. The railroad created new towns—Parksley, Onley, Keller, Tasley, and Painter—and it intended the loss of life of the varied public wharves. this present day every one of these previous accumulating locations exist simply as names on a map and maybe a suite of twisted pilings on the water's aspect, the final tangible facts of a time in our heritage long gone.
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Extra info for Accomack County
Onley, on the north bank of Onancock Creek, was the home of Gov. Henry A. Wise, the only Virginia governor (1855–1859) to have come from Accomack County. The house, built in 1843, is not typical of Eastern Shore architecture; the late historian Ralph Whitelaw speculated that it was designed by a Philadelphia architect employed by Wise’s wife, who was from the North. ) Hog killing was a winter tradition in Accomack County, a means of preparing and preserving meats that would last through the winter.
Below, a mule team transports a huge pine log to the mill around 1890. Seated on top was Martin with his bird dog, Tilghman. The building supply store still stands and is today a private residence overlooking the Harborton waterfront. ) The Harborton Baptist Church was built in 1894 on the corner of Harborton Road and Adams Lane, and enjoyed a large congregation when the town was a busy steamboat port. As the shipping business dwindled in the early 20th century, the population of Harborton dropped, as did attendance at the church.
It created business potential across much of the eastern United States and Canada for farmers and seafood producers. It built towns, and it ended generations of isolation, making Accomack part of a world that suddenly had become smaller and more accessible. Chincoteague oysters were on the menu in New York restaurants; local white potatoes were being shipped all the way to Toronto. What did local people think when that first steam engine rattled through? Was it a noisy curiosity, or did folks realize that a revolution was taking place, that the focus of their commerce would move from sea to land, that towns would be created and others forgotten?