Interview with Edward and Louise Diggs, 2014 June 28

Material Information

Interview with Edward and Louise Diggs, 2014 June 28
Diggs, Edward ( Interviewee )
Diggs, Louise ( Interviewee )
Taylor, Jessica ( Interviewer )
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Oral history interview


Subjects / Keywords:
Tidewater Main Street Development Project
Family history
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Virginia -- Mathews


Edward and Louise Diggs talk about their family histories in Mathews County, Virginia as well as their experiences growing up in the area. Mr. Diggs talked about learning the boatbuilding trade from his father, his early experiences building boats, as well as how boatbuilding has changed over time. Mrs. Diggs talked about life in Mathews County, how they met, as well as her experience working as a teacher’s aide. Finally, they both talked about the influence of the "come-here’s” in Mathews County and how they contributed to the exposure of Mr. Digg’s boatbuilding outside of Mathews County and its impact on the community as a whole.
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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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TMP 026 Edward and Louise Diggs 6-28-2014 ( SPOHP )


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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Samuel Proctor Oral History Program College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program Director : Dr. Paul Ortiz Office Manager : Tamarra Jenkins 241 Pugh Hall Digital Humanities Coordinator : Deborah Hendrix PO Box 115215 Gainesville, FL 32611 352 392 7168 35 2 846 1983 Fax The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) was founded by Dr. Samuel Proctor at the University of Florida in 1967. Its original projects were collections centered around Florida history with the purpose of preserving eyewitness acc ounts of economic, social, political, religious and intellectual life in Florida and the South. In the 45 years since its inception, SPOHP has collected over 5,000 interviews in its archives. Transcribed interviews are available through SPOHP for use by research scholars, students, journalists, and other interested groups. Material is frequently used for theses, dissertations, articles, books, documentaries, museum displays, and a variety of other public uses. As standard oral history practice dictates, S POHP recommends that researchers refer to both the transcript and audio of an interview when conducting their work. A selection of interviews are available online here through the UF Digital Collections and the UF Smathers Library system. Suggested corrections to transcripts will be reviewed and processed on a case by case basis. Oral history int erview t ranscripts available on the UF Digital Collections may be in draft or final format. SPOHP transcribers create interview transcripts by listen ing to the ori ginal oral history interview recording and typing a verbatim d ocument of it. The transcript i s written with careful attention to reflect original grammar and word choice of each interviewee; s ubjective or editorial changes are not made to their speech. The draft trans cript can also later undergo a final edit to ensure accuracy in spelling and form at I nterviewees can also provide their own spelli ng corrections SPOHP transcribers refer to the Merriam program specific transcribing style guide, accessible For more information abo ut SPOHP, visit or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. May 2015


TMP 026 Interviewee: Edward and Louise Diggs Interviewer: Jessica Taylor Date: June 28, 2014 E D : Her middle name was Lane, and my middle name is Lane, My son that lives up here, T: Is that L a n e ? E D : Uh huh. T: Hudgi ns, Virginia a M. Sir, can you please state your full name? E D : Edward Nelson Diggs. Named after Nelson [inaudible 00:35] who was a movie star. T: Really? E D : No. He was a . [Laughter] T: Okay. E D : I know . He was him. T: Why are you named after him? E D : o. T: Okay. W hen were you born? E D : I was born here in Mathews County, Peary Post Office down the lower part of the county.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 2 T: What date? E D : August the 25 th 1927. T: Okay. A name? L D : Louise Owens Diggs. T: Okay A nd wher e were you born? L D: In Redart in Mathews County. T: Okay A nd what date? L D : May the 10 th 1932 T: Okay. Did you all attend school together? L D : No. T: No? So, where did you go to school, ma m? L D : I went to Lee Jackson, then to Mathews High School, where I graduated. T: Okay. And what about you? Where did you go to school? E D : Well, I graduated from Mathews. LD : He went to Winter Harbor. E D : To Winter Harbor. L D : And New Point.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 3 E D : Went to Winter H arbor six years and went to New Point one year. Then I went to the high school. T: So how were your high school experiences different from one another? E D : Well, I was suaver than she was. [Laughter] T: Do you want to answe r that more constructively? L D : So, that makes the difference. He went with me more when I was in school. I started dating him when I was fifteen. And I played basketball a nd he would take me to basketball. He also helped me with my school lessons. We learned the much about his high school. T: Okay. What was high school like for you? E D : Well, it was easy really, because we had a shop teacher and he was very fond of me. And a friend of mine was in most classes together. So, we rather enjoyed that. At that time, the girls at school had to take shop and made things out of metal cans and we had to cut the cans open for them and help them make what they had to make. We did that instead of doing what we were supposed to do. I took mechanical drawing and all kinda drawing like that in high school. T: Did you find that useful? E D : Yes. T: Okay. Did you have something to add, ma m? Okay.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 4 L D : [Laughter] No. T: Okay. What about your parents? What did your parents do? E D : Well, my parent s was a carpenter or a boat builder. We built houses and boats mostly. And I learned the trade from him. I When he was sawing with a hand off them all so we could see it. T: What was it like learning a trad e from your father? E D : What was it like learning a trade from my hen a boat, the first one I built, had a V bottom Wichita dead rise You have to chop the dead rise out ft handed, but he chopped left handed. So, to work on the dead rise, you have to chop one way. So, I could chop better on one side of the boat and he could chop better really on the other side of I was learning and he already knew how to do it. T: When did you know that you wanted to follow him into the trade? E D : Well, when I graduated of course, he wanted me to go away to school and learn T: Why did you want to do that?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 5 E D : T: Okay. Is th at what your grandfather did as well? E D : T: Where did your father learn the trade from? From him? E D : No. He probably learned it the most from this man who was maybe his T: Was there anything that you or your father did that were unique from other carpenters or shipbuilders? E D : [Laughter] And we did boats, so that was kind of different. T: Why did you do both? Can I ask that? E D : Wel l, to have something to do. Dad was in the service when I started. The service was a time when t he country was at all. T: What was the Great Depression like for you? ED: ause I had plenty to eat. We lived here in the country, so it was like living in a city. My father owned some waterfront down where the oysters grew and all. So, we go down and pick up oysters to have oysters to eat. And then y ou raise things in the garden. So, we made out fine. But, not like the people in the city did. T: So, what were your earliest projects like? What did you work on first?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 6 E D : Well, I work ed on boats first small boats. T: Who were your clients? Do they call t hem clients in carpentry? E D : Yeah, we had clients all over. Even then, we would build like rowboats for rowboats for somebody. But I built boats later on for people up in New Jers ey and Connecticut: lobster boats, like forty some feet long, for the lobster business. Gloucester, built some f or them. And people in Norfolk, built boats for them. So I built boats all up and down the coast. T: Can you walk me through i ot too ext ensive or exhausting making through making a rowboat in the [19]30s? The technology of it? E D : Well, t a t the bow you nail the sides to. You make the stem, then you cut out the sides, and you nail the si des to the stem. Then, you put a rope across the stern on the sides pull it in a little bit, and put in a stretcher about middle way of the boat. Then, pull it in some more l ike we want it, the width that you want. start. picture s out in ro lls showing us building a boat, how you start it. T: the [19]30s to your retirement? E D : Really boat building, not too much. Boats, like anything else, change. People get new ideas like, I want my stern different or something different on the boat. And what they use them for kinda changes too. So, you change the way you build em according to what works good, for what they gonna use them for.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 7 T: So, you said that the way people use them changes? What do you mean by that? How are they using them differently? ED: For the kinda work they do, t o change your kinda work, maybe oyster ing and they want change to crabbing. Something like that will c hange. T: Uh huh. What about landside? How does the technology of carpentry and buildings change? E D : In what lands ? T: Like as far as you said how did that technology change? E D : Well, it just cha nges like anything else. Every thing changes as time goes on. F or different reasons you need to change what you build some to suit your time. T: Okay. So, as far as those buildings go, what kind of changes were you seeing as far as what people wanted? E D : [Laughter] T: E D : Well, we saw changes in dre dging the crabs They used to build mostly round stern boats. They found out dre dging crabs, a square stern boat would hold the weight up better than a round stern and they started making them square. Just different things like that have changed. T: Uh huh. Where were you getting the timber from?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 8 ED: Well, used to be, yea rs ago we got all the timber from Mathews County, here. Back in the 1600s, I guess, and 1700s, ther County than anywhere else, probably. Except one place up in New England, maybe, built about the same amount of boats as they did here. But, later on, we used fir. And that came from Oregon mostly later on, yes. T: Why is that? E D : Well, because we used to use here, they cut it all down. T: Okay. [Laughter] L D : I thought he used white cedar. I thought you used white cedar? E D : Well, for smaller boat s, we used white cedar. We get that from North Carolina. T: So, what project are you most proud of in your life? Is that a hard question? E D : Well, kinda hard . I guess the biggest lobster boat I built was the last one I built. And I was just as please T: When was that? E D : 1983, I believe, I built. Is that right? [Laughter] I think it was 1983, last one I built. T: Okay. And why were you proud of it? E D : pretty. [Laughter] T: E D : Yeah


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 9 T: What were the biggest challenges you faced as a boat builder? E D : Well, the biggest challenges was, I worked at a railway, and we built boats and we worked on the boats a t the railway. And doing both was a big challenge. Soon as you got inside the building, where we build the boats, you haul boats on the railway. Yo u had some rotten wood in it, you had to stop and work on them. And that was kind of a challenge to keep things going both ways. T: Yeah. Wow. So, walk me through a typical day of yours, maybe in the [19]40s or [19]50s. E D : m one that always likes to get up early and to get to work And you had some tools dull, something you sharpened these That way, you working for way out there in mine, more than my old ones. I always liked to please the people that you was working for. T: What was it like working for the railway, instead of maybe working for yourself or working for another boat builder? E D : you worked for the railway, you had another man that was in charge of the whole thing and lot of the responsibility. Like for getting lumber for the boat. This man would get the lumber order it and everything. And when you build them yourself, you had to get the lumber yourself. Made it a little more difficult.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 10 T: Did creativity or personal innovation ever figure into your career? Did you get a lot of license to be creative? E D : [Laughter] T: I mean, I guess as long a s your float, right, you can be creative about either the design or thinking of new ways to do things? And I was wondering if you did that, or adhered to the way that your father taught you? E D : Well, boats, you always did things kinda the way your father taught you. But, as things change, you kinda have to do things your way. And when we were working for this man down at the railway, we were allowed to make the changes, instead of him doing it. T: Did your father work for t he railway too? E D : Yes. T: He did? For his whole career? E D : Yeah. Uh huh. T: Okay. What kind . Oh, sorry. Go ahead. E D : I was just gonna say, we wor ked like ten years building just on our own before we started working at the railway. Then, we worked at the railway my father for the rest of the time. If I r een working pretty well up to now. T: What made your father decide to move from doing it on his own to working for the railway?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 11 E D : Well, I say sort of the reason for change because the railway, of course sold things in the store like hardware some of this. [inaudible 21:23] come on now and get down to t his boat and hook the stern rig up underneath the stern or s me to do it. Then, at this time was about the time that the war was over and people started getting new engines for re that was hardly qualif ied to put these engines in. My father and I would go down and make the bedding for the engine and set the engines and all. We did that a lot down there Just in doing that and then the man down there had a hull in this bo at that h ad worms in it and needed a lot of w to do this. And we just kinda gradually this way got to where we was down there full time. Then, I got married and was building my house here. So, we kept on working down there And my fat her, he moved out and h e had to build a house. [Laughter] That way we were able to work d own there, two things together, to work good. T: What kind of person was your father? E D : Smart. [Laughter] I never could understand how it is he went to school with the s eventh grade and that was a one room school. Everybody in the house, from the first grade up through the seventh grade, was in the same room. Maybe that t know. But my father, I never could understand how good he was on history and things like that. He was real good on T: Really? What kind of history did he like?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 12 E D : Well, I mean, like the history of Virginia and even o v er in New York, too. He knew where places were and all that. And I never could understand how he learned that, in the seventh where he had school, like that. T: E D : T: Oh, okay. He just knew about Europe. E D : Yeah. T: eally interesting. E D : Learned it in school. T: Wow. What school was that? E D : Frog Eye. [Laughter] L D : T: they called it? E D : he name was on it. T: Okay. What was his life like growing up? Did he tell you about it at all? E D: Not too much. Course he told me some things that he did He went to work for this man that built boats. He was like probably eighteen, or maybe not that ol d a small boat. But, anyway, he went to work for this man who was a real old man then. And they


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 13 were building this boat maybe twenty feet long flat bottomed. Bottom up, you nail the bottom off them down instead of g oing in the side. You make them come out on the inside. ten any out or not. So, he looked over the other side and the old man had drove one or two out. And of course he told the old man, you drove a couple nails out back there. And the old man says [Laughte r] T: Wonderful. Did your father tell you any stories about your family? Maybe generations back or about Mathews? E D : No, not very much. I told you about the Lanes, how T: When I cam e in, you said something about the Civil War. D o you know anything about Mathews in the Civil War? E D : Well, I knew a littl e bit about the Civil War, l ike some of the old men that was in the war. My great uncle, he walked home from Richmond when the war wa s over. And then, he went home and sat down in a chair in the front yard, and [Laughter] The war took all the pep out of him many stories ab out things that had happened in the Civil War. T: Did any of them happen to anyone in your family or anyone you met? E D : Maybe the distant family.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 14 T: Would you like to share some? ED: Do w hat? T: Do you want to share some of those? ED: Well, I really have any to share. Robert E. Lee was my favorite soldier, and I he was in the war, I think it was in already a general before the Civil War and I think he was one of the smartest men in the Civil War. T: Being smart is real important to you, huh? E D : Yeah. [Laughter] Being smart is important to anybody, I guess. T: been in Mathews for? L D: All my life. We we eighty two years. T: Were your parents from here? L D : Yes. T: And their parents? L D : My grandfather owned th e place there, the whole place, this whole area. I had three brothers and my three brothers built on different parcels of the [Laughter]


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 15 T: When did you all get married? L D : 1950. T: Oh, wonderful. What was courtship like in the [19]40s for young people? L D : Courtship? Well, you did a lot of just riding around from th is one place to the other. And course, he would pick me up and take me to the ball game. I played basketball, h u came in Hudgi ns here. Right across from the church, that was a place called Sups that you get milk shakes and all thos e things So, we were the first ones. M ost of the time we could get down there before anybody else could. He did a lot of studying with me, to do my homework and that kinda thing. Learned the preamble to the Constitution. My senior year, I went to school t o play basketball and get out and get mar ried. Things have changed now. Back then, I graduated in June, got married in July. T: What was your wedding day like? L D : Wha t was it like? We were married at the parsonage, which is the big white house before you get up to the church, on the right. It was only my parents and his parents, and the pas tor. And we were married in the parsonage. A nd then we went all the way to Richm ond th at night, s tayed at the King Carter Hotel. [Laughter] Then we toured Lynchburg, the Natural Bridge and some of those places. Then we came home and back to work. T: Were you working at the time?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 16 L D : No. I di irs t one started to college and my last one started to school. And I started working the school system. T: When was that? L D : What year did I start? E D : L D : Right. So, then that would be . But, we had five children. He did a lot of the somebody el se later. I used to tell him g otta get this in there your church comes first, your work comes second, and I . Like he told you before about him going down a now, those men bring us crabs, and oysters, and fish. A do appreciate them. T: Uh huh. I noticed you know about ship building. Were you involved in the business at al l? L D : T: Really? What do you do on the boats?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 17 L D : be there to help him get something straight and that kind of thing. I did more boats that he built. T: So, how did you get to learn about shipbuilding over time? Did you talk about it together? L D : been there for each other. T: L D : T: So, what was it like raising children in Mathews? L D : Well, I think Mathews is one of the great I know how t o say it, but I mean, they had the freedom to be a part of the community and do things. This son used to crab around the shore. He still loves the water and he still comes and goes and actually picks up crabs around the shore and those kinda things. A nd it an as good now but as a place that you never worried about locking your doors. Worried about somebody taking something from y our shop, that kinda thing. It just was an ideal place. T: How does bein g from Mathews kind of color the way that you see things outside of Mathews?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 18 L D : Well, I I the place to be for me. E D : I say, I was in the army for a year or so and we went took basic training d own in Alabama. Anyway, then when I went overseas, I went to San Francisco. When I came back home, they sorta let them out first my father go t him to write a letter to see if I get out a little bit early. And so, they did let me out a little bit early. But anyway, we came back home from Korea and we came the northern route, which is up close to Alaska and came down to and Mathews County is the best place in the whole world. [Laughter] T: What about it makes it the best place in the whole world? E D : Really, [Laughter] T: Wonderf ul. L D : But I think also th at the people are so friendly; y ou know each other, you know the whole community. You share with people and that kinda thing. In the cities, T: So how did the community bond together when you all were kids and young adults? Were there events or places where people would congregate? L D : We had a post office and store and people would go there, especially on Saturday night, and get your groceries. E ve rybody. The men would sit and talk,


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 19 the women would get together, and then the children would all get together and play. And we used to . My mother and a group of the women were quilters, der the quilts while they were quilting. And those kinda things. young people. Now, young people would take off here and go to Norfolk without thinking about it. But w e never went out of Mathews when we were young T: Wow. Do y ou have anything to add to that? H ow the community bonded together when you were a kid or a young adult. E D : I was just thinking. Oh! I know what I was thinking. We had a fairground here. You know what a fairground is? Where they have horse races, but the s back; it was a speed cart. I thought that was really interesting to go there to see the horse racing. That was one thing we did as a community. T: Where was that? E D : Where was it? It was up here at Hu dgi n h ard for me to up the road here about three or four miles where they had the horse racing. T: since they ju st finished that archit ectural survey. So, what were when you were children and young adults the most historic places in Mathews? L D : Mathews Courthouse. [Laughter] Everybody used to go there, especially on Satur day nights.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 20 T: Really? And do what? L D : And when we got older, just walk up and down the street and go in the stores. They used have the stores where people bought clothes and all tha t kinda things. I mean, I the time come on. E D : People, a lot of them would go to the movies. Then, when the movies was out, then they showed a picture again. That was the main thing that we did at the C ourthouse. Then you parked on the front street. On one side of the street, we parked one behind th we get away to get your car out and ge t away. It was real interesting . I was just thinking of some things I did. [Laughter] T: Like what? E D : Well, like a friend of mine, Si ble ble And go there and buy one of these big drinks, like a quart or more drink, for ten cents. We tried to drink all of it if we could. [Laughte r] Just things like that we did. T: What about as teenagers? Did you get in trouble? E D : No. I never h ave gotten in trouble, really. My momma said I was a good boy, I T: Uh oh. [Laughter] What about you? What did young women do on a Saturday ni ght?


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 21 E D : She went to the C ourthouse with me. [Laughter] L D : We would . This was strange, too. They only had one car, so he would b ring his mom and dad up to the C ourthouse and put them out, then come get me. go back and pick them up and kinda thing. Yes, but other than that and my first child that came thirteen months later, I was an old married woman then. T: So, what about holida ys like Christmas and Halloween, Fourth of July? Is there anything special that happened in Mathews or for your families? L D : We used to always get together. C ourse then my whole family was here. My mother and father lived over here. It was easy for us a ll to get together. Now, our children are scatte different things. Like Fourth of July, I used to always have a picnic on the Fourth of July. Anyb ody could come in the families. Our in laws and all, t anymore. Time takes care of things, changes things. T: changed over time. H ave you seen historic building s demolished, or new buildings, new houses, go up? That kind of thing. L D : Well, now, the new houses that go up are so big would want them like that. When they get older, they have to clean them unles s you can afford someone to come in and do it for you. But


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 22 E D : We just built a new courthouse, I mean, just a few years ago. Was a big change in Mathews the courthouse was down in Mathews itself. They moved it out and built a new court building and all that new. That was kinda different. Built a new post office and everything. Kinda changed things. So . T: How did you feel about that change? E D : I thought it was fine. [ Laughter] T: d stories of hostility towards come heres. H ow do you all feel about people that come here? L D : of the best friends that were come heres. ust working in the school system and all. I worked in the school system fo r twenty one years. The blacks I got along with the blacks and all just as good as I did the whites. And some of T: You kind of mentioned race relations a little bit. Were you a teacher during integration? L D : T: Oh, okay. L D : The n, I went up to the little Cobb s Creek school because I could type and they needed someone as a secretary. And then, I ended up in the intermediate school as a secretary. I enjoyed it; I enjoyed working with the young people. Still see some of them that will say, oh Mrs. Diggs, I remembe


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 23 now which one are you? B changed. [Laughter] But then you enjoy talking to them. E D : T: E D : the come here people have put me on the map. I mean all the work I did, the regular people left here, I would just be an ordinary person. And now the come here people think what I did was good and they picked it up and really put me up front you might sa y. T: How do you feel about that? E D : ll tell you this: not much to it B ut anyway, my son, h is wife was from Ohio and he was going to Ohio. And f or some reason, he had wanted to go u p to Cleveland for something. And so, we went with them, went up to Cleveland. And this man right there in the neighborhood that had model cars and all this, and we just went there to see him and talk to him And I said, I Edward Diggs. And he said, are you the Edward Diggs that builds boat s? And I thought that was really something. I was in Cleveland and this man asked me w as I the Edward Diggs that built boats? But the way he knew his brother, I business he was in exa ctly b ut he was in a business and he went up and down the east coast all the time. Of course, this man had heard of me going up and neat.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 24 T: Wow. E D : He knew where I was from. T: Wow. Huh. Have they change d what you do come heres? Or, maybe, even the way you think about yourself? E D : Not really. I mean honored me in different ways. I made like maybe thirty five model boats. Wha the L D : Maritime. E D : Maritime S model boats for to bring their boats up to their place. And they were gonna have a program that day. And I was invited to come to the program. When I got the re and parked the car, we got out, and I went in, and there was everyb built boats for, all my family, e verybody was there and everybody in Mathews knew it but me. So, they [inaudible 52:43] heard what was going on, I would have a look at so mething like that. I think tha t was the nicest thing that ever happened to me T: heres, appreciate your work too? E D : e it, but that would have been the end of it.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 25 L D : Like that, but I think it shows you what Carol, Melvin David, and them, come and see you an d sit and talk and bring you things. E D : Yeah, I know. L D : I think they appreciate you as much as anybody. E D : Ye ah, people come and bring me d ifferent ones seafood, clams, and oysters, and everything like that they bring us. T: L D : No. T: L D : Course not able to do it anymore t but, I mean, we enjoyed doing it together and a lot of the men would have me to pose with their boats with him. T: Wonderful. I should have asked this, but did you have a son or a relative follow you into the p rofession? L D : No. E D : No, not really. T: Okay. Alright. L D : ome of his talents for working, for doing things, bec ause you can see what they do, that you know they have got it from him.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 26 E D : d all the work in his bath room, kitchen, kitchen cabinets, everything he talent. got it. T: Wonderful. Did you teach your children how to do things with their hands? E D : Had to watch me. L D : Well, all of them would go down to the railway times with you and y do something, to be there. And when he was elp him work and that kind of thing. E D : Always had one of them help me and I got so me pictures here of my grandson, helping me T: bigger questions about Mathews just generally. Are there building s that were important, when you were children and E D : L D : And of course the grocery stores have come here with their big supermarkets and all that. T: Absolutely. What about historic homes? L D : I never have been really one connected with the historic homes. T: ay.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 27 E D : This one, I was telling you T: Okay. My last big question is about ghost stories and tall tales and that kind of thing. Are there any that you grew up liste House W oods twice today. L D : Right, I was gonna say. [Laughter] meals T: What did you hear about it? L D : I guess I heard it from him. You know all about the Old House W oods. T: What did you hear about it? E D : The Old House W oods? Well one thing I heard about it was a ship sailing around up in the air, would let down a rope ladder to come down. Then roll it out. dating each other, since I was down in Winter Harbor, said it had ghosts there. People from curiosity would just ride down there in an automobile. Always three or four cars in f ront of there. But, they found out that the boy that lived there, he doing them. T: Where was that at? On Winter Harbor you said? E D : No, that was down in Winter Harbor, close to wh ere you go down to Winter Harbor Beach. Not too far from there.


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 28 T: Okay. Any other ghost stories I should know about? E D : No. I m the old stories. Kinda forget exactly about them, b call it, where a group of people get together and T: A sance? E D : believ e that. Have you heard of that, people doing that? T: of that. So, are there any stories about Mathews that evo lutionary period or before that, the colonial period? E D : No. None that I know of. Yes, I can tell you about one. The Civil War, this man that lived down close to Port Haywood, and the Yankees came by and stole his em. They came down and took him carried him up the road about ten miles or so, and they hung him they? L D : They dr agged him E D : Huh? L D : E D : Yeah, I think they dragged him behind a cart all the way up there Then, they hung him I think. T:


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 29 E D : it all my life T: One of those things. E D : People one of those things you hear about. T: think of any? E D : l be a story. T: E D : I mean, might not be so. [Laughter] L D : our crab pots, you can set four crab pots. Well, he still you probably k now sc ulls the boat out to the crab pots. I told him, I said, put t he motor on the boat? He says sculling the boat. [Laughter] E D : You ever seen anyone scull? T: Uh huh. E D : On the back of the boat, right on top of the stern, you have a piece of wood that comes up. Just a little knob up there like two inches tall, t wo inches big. And you have flat paddle about ten feet long. Six inches wide at one end and the other end, where you hold on, like you get your hand right like that. And you put that paddle on the side of that post and you go in like this into the water. Goes back and forth


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 30 people not only did tha t. But, Mathews County, go on the fish boat go out to the pound to get the fish out. They had this little skiff, they called a little skiff. But, they had a bigge r boat where they would put the net in. You call that the fishing vat. This was a little skiff T: E D : And I know this guy, he was probably the best sculler there was. Anyway, he was a pound fisherman and he sculled his little boat all the way from [inaudible 1:05:13] Bay, where the pounds were, which was probably three or four miles all the way home. He sculled it all the way. At one point, someone he knew had a little outboard motor on the skiff, and he raced him. The one with the little motor had a hard time to beat [Laughter] T: L D : book that T: Oh, great. You got anything? E D : No. T: Okay. [End of in terview] Transcribed by: Austyn Szempruch October 1, 2014 Audit edit ed by: Jessica Taylor, October 4, 2014


TMP 026 ; Diggs; Page 31 Final edit ed by : Jessica Taylor