There was to be a story telling session among oystermen at the Bayshore Discovery Project’s Bivalve Center. This is a part of the country I always enjoy and have previously reported on in this journal. So, I went down but didn’t stay for many stories; there was too much of a draw from scenes to be photographed. As usual, an iconic spot, the 1849 East Point Lighthouse drew me.
There was lots of activity and traffic at the Wawa at the intersection of Route 47 and County Road 670 which leads to Mauricetown. When I inquired of a local I learned that Mauricetown was having its annual yard sale. I think of these as places where stuff just moves from one house to another but you never know. In any event I was also pleased finally to pick up from the local their pronounciation of Mauricetown. It’s Marstown where the s is hard as in “say”. No more Morristown or Moorestown.
On the way into town I stopped at one of my favorite locations, a small old barn right by a tidal creek, graced this day by a branch of wisteria. Come, set here a while.
The docks at the Bivalve Center are usually the home port of the A. J. Meerwald, the 1928 restored Delaware Bay oyster schooner but she was away this weekend. The adjacent oyster shipping sheds were originally built in 1904 by the Jersey Central Railroad. A token of those days is the old boxcar which has been converted to rest rooms. The sheds, themselves, are shored up here and there but in better shape than this inhabitant. It’s too easy to pun about this old vessel, the Cashier.
Nearby to Bivalve are the still active commercial shell fish processing plants. The residual rotting tissue on the shells produces one of the most overpowering disgusting odors I’ve ever experienced. What’s interesting is that the odor particles adhered to my car and, notwithanding a car wash, are still detectable. The gulls are impervious.
I can’t leave you with that image. Rather, the wisteria is in bloom all over and lovely.