The Chesapeake Bay is famous for its blue crabs, which are harvested by using a trap known as a “crab pot.” Invented by Benjamin F. Lewis in the 1920s, patented in 1928, and perfected ten years later, the crab pot forever changed the way hard crabs are harvested on the Chesapeake Bay.
Drew Sturgis’s family can be traced back more than ten generations on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. At only twenty-one years of age, Drew is already regarded as one of the most gifted trappers on the Shore.
Jerry Latell of Latell Sailmakers and his partners Lance Barton and Melanie Tennant in Deltaville have revived the local sailmaking tradition in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. Latell owns and operates the only sail loft in Deltaville, once considered the wooden boatbuilding capital of the Chesapeake Bay.
Ray Rogers Virginia grew up in nearby Hacks Neck, on a waterfront farm where his family worked the land and the Chesapeake Bay. Ray became a Menhaden fisherman after his service in World War II, and soon became a boat captain.
Danny Bowden can trace his family back to the 1600s on Chincoteague and neighboring Assateague Island. Like many of his ancestors, Danny follows the seasons, gill netting for rockfish in the spring and fall, crabbing in the spring and summer, and guiding waterfowl hunters in the fall and winter, “taking whatever Mother Nature has to offer.”
Deborah Pratt’s parents first met while working in one of the many small oyster houses that dotted the Northern Neck coastline, and she has been shucking since 1976 when her sister Clementine Macon taught her.
Dudley has been in the oyster business for his entire life, and still lives beside his family’s oyster beds on the farm where he was born.
For more than one hundred years, the Butler family has been handcrafting wooden boats in Reedville. Situated between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers on Virginia’s Northern Neck, Reedville was established in 1874 as home base for a large menhaden fishery.
Grayson Chesser epitomizes the carving traditions of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The son of a game warden and hunter, and with family roots on the Eastern Shore dating back to the mid-1600s, he spent much of his childhood duck hunting in the marshes around the Chesapeake Bay and collecting hand-carved decoys.
Dale Jett is a native of Scott County, in deep Southwest Virginia. The son of Janette Carter and the grandson of A. P. and Sara Carter of the legendary Carter Family, his roots have been steeped within the heart of his family’s musical heritage.