Interview with Ronald and Nancy Rowe, 2014 July 14

Material Information

Interview with Ronald and Nancy Rowe, 2014 July 14
Rowe, Ronald ( Interviewee )
Rowe, Nancy ( Interviewee )
Taylor, Jessica ( Interviewer )
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Oral history interview


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


Ronald Rowe talks about his family’s history in Mathews County dating back to the English settlers. He also discusses living in the house his father built and the long line of carpenters in his family. Nancy Rowe talks about what it was like growing up in Mathews County and how important the community was because of the isolation from other towns. They also share how they met and what their wedding was like. Mr. Rowe talks about his fishing experiences within Mathews and more specifically fishing with A.J. Hurst while Mrs. Rowe discusses what it was like being the daughter of an important waterman and the pride they had in the fishing tradition. Mr. and Mrs. Rowe talk about what it was like going to school during integration. They conclude the interview talking about the cultural loss involved with the aging boat-building community and the rich heritage within Mathews County and a history that dates back to the time of Captain John Smith.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Holding Location:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license:
Resource Identifier:
TMP 037 Ronald and Nancy Rowe 7-14-2014 ( 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 037 Interviewee: Ronald and Nancy Rowe Interviewer: Jessica Taylor Date: July 14, 2014 T: This is Jessica Taylor interviewing Rosco e Rowe on July 14, 2014 in Peary , Virginia. R R: T: Mr. Rowe , can you please state your full name? R R: Ronald K . Rowe. T: Okay and R R: T: Okay, and when were you born? R R: November 1957. T: Okay, do you have a specific date? R R: November the 30 th . T: Oh! November the 30 th . Okay. And where were you born? R R: I was bor n in Newport News, Virginia. T: Okay. R R: At the Old Riverside. T: Okay. Where did you grow up? R R : Virginia. T: Okay. R R: Washington Rowe , e was Betty Ann. Betty Ann Forrest was her maiden name. T: Okay. And what did they do? R R: He was a waterman and then he start ed as a house builder .


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 2 T: Okay. R R: T: R R: five years old. T: Wow. Did you have any brothers or sisters ? R R: I had four sisters three sisters. I had a step sister. My mot her remarried and I have a step sister , too. T: Three sisters? R R: So, I had three real sisters and I had a step sister. T: Did you grow up in the same house ? R R: Yep. We all lived in the same house my Daddy built , I think . T: So your father built it. RR: Y e a h . T: R R: The construction style? T: Y e a h ! Cause he was a carp enter? R R: I mean, I know. T: Okay. Where did he learn from? R R: Oh, his g randpa was a carpenter . T: R R: Yep. I believe all of them were carpenters. Yep. T: How far back can your trace your family back in Mathew s?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 3 R R: here from England. T: Y eah ? R R: I went back to my fifteenth great grandfather . T: Is family history important to you? R R: Y eah, I look it up every now and then. B ut I like to look at it and see some things. T: R R: I bought this from a fellow down her e, Mr. Lem Brooks . M , though , they were raised here. Her g rand right up there and great grandparents house was right down this road, Captain Genes R oad. T hat was her Great granddaddy; Eugene Armistead was his name. [SENTENCE OMMITTED] A nd they lived here and they owned all this land right here at one time . T: What was her last name originally? R R: She was a Hudgi ns. T: Okay. R R: She was a Hudgi maiden name was Armistead , and T: So, what does it mean to be a Rowe in Mathews? R R: , and I lived in Mathews , but my family came from Gloucester. T: Oh, really? R: Originally , they came from Water View a nd then from Fredericksburg but T: o uce ster?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 4 R R: In Glo uce ster? T: Mm hm. Do you keep up with them? R R: Yeah, I keep up with them. My grandmother and grandfather, and I had aunts and uncles and great uncles . And then I had some that lived away from me , too . Some lived in Maine and a co uple lived in Williamsburg. And I kept up with the old aunt now. I got one aunt left in G loucester T: M m hm. RR: They all passed away. T: Growing up , what was the differen ce between Mat hews and Glo uce ster? R R: I used to go to visit my grandma some in the summertime after I got out of school. Have you ever heard that: Momma Grandma for it? And she would let you get away with anything. And I liked going over there, and my sister did , too. [SENTENCE OMMITTED] the one that lives next to me we used to go there a lot. My other two sisters stayed over this way, but I liked to go over there. T: Mm hm. Okay, what places in Mathews do you consider important to you and your family? R R: What places? Well, most of them were on the waterfron believe, because t here used to be so many f ish docks and stuff around here. N ow here used to be boat builders and stuff and most of them are gone. T: Tell me about the boat builders . R R: Do I remember them ?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 5 T: No, just tell me about them. I know you remember them . R R: Y e a h , well , they did everything I know one thing: they built mostly with no plans and stuff. They just shaped it and built it. And I think some of the best boat around here for years. County started at: boat building. T: So we were talking a little bit about competition between boat buil ders. Why would they develop competition between each other? R R: Most boat builder s are pretty good. Some of their cracks were a little tighter than the others. [Laughter] [Break in Recording] T: This is Jessica Taylo r resuming with Nancy Rowe. Miss Nancy , what was your maiden name? N R: Hudgi ns. T: Ok ay , and when were you born? N R: October 10, 1959 . T: And where were you born ? N R: In Newport News, Virginia, Riverside Hospital . RR: Same place. [Laughter] T: Okay , and occupations ? N R: is Robert Roland Hudgi ns. He has been a fisherman , waterman , commercial fisherman . making dre dges


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 6 which seems to be a lost art . My husband hangs nets. H e does something that not a lot of people do. We have people coming to him from Delaware and places to have things made for the wa ter. My mother is Janice Diggs Hudgins and she was a home mak er and she worked in the local bank. T: And what were your earliest memories of Mathews? NR: V ery blessed to be in a community like we are, kind of isolated a little bit . Yo u have to be coming here to get here i somewhere. You have to come to Mathews. We ha ve a very big sense of community. RR: N R: very faith a very important part . T: Okay. O h, sorry did you want to add? RR: T: Okay! So what did the and either of you can answer this what did the house that you grew up in look like ? RR: Oh, it was like a little ranch er . It was 1700 square feet, something like that. My father built it in 1954 and he had a house build in Water V iew and he was married before and h is wife died . Then he married my mother, a n d I was born later on. I think w e moved in when my older sister that was older than I was, was born. N R: RR: Yeah, I told them I had three sisters and I had a step sister. T: Okay .


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 7 RR: An d at o ne time we all lived there . At the time, t hat was a lot of people in a 1700 square foot ho use . We shared bedrooms. We had bunk beds in my bedroom. [L aughter] T: Did your father follow plans to build the house or did he just build it? RR: No, he built it. It was something much different; may have been a little bit bigger. T: Okay! RR: Yeah, just a little bit bigger. T: Okay . RR: That house is up . I went over and saw it not long ago . T: With a father tha , why did you decide to go into the water business? RR: I alw I was seven years old when he died. And I had an uncle named Ikey Diggs . He lived down the road. He was my great uncle ; he was my to come get me for everything, every time he wanted to do something. H e kind of got me started in the water . And every time he t o do something he had a heart trouble , too. I mean he had a heart at tack later, he was in his fiftie s, a nd he could still do some work. He knew how to do things, but . H is and work me to death. [Laughter] twelve, thirteen years old pulling all that stuff that a grown man does pull up.


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 8 T: This is a weird question, but did you do that during school hours or on weekends ? D id you do that seasonally? RR: Did it on weekends, after school. I had done it before school; Momma went to get me up one time and I had already gone. I was out in the bay. [Laughter] T: Wow . RR: She jumped on him , then . But h there to get me. T: What did he teach you how to do? RR: He was a pound fisherman . Big net: did catch onto that too good. Later on, I learned more. right there, he taught me right much. Her daddy taught me some stuff. You pick it up. When you help people, you pick things up. T: How did you two meet? RR: How did we meet? My sister . NR: His sister. RR: Yeah, s he moved into an a partment and my sister lived there too . And I used to hang around; we all hung around together . We ended up going out on a date or in law and sister. how it began. T: How old were you when that happened? N R: I was twenty four . T: How long did you date before getting married? N R: How long did we date before we got ma rried?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 9 RR: Not long. We started dating like in March N R: About a year , yeah . R R: like six months. [Laughter] We got married in October. Yeah. We started dating i n that spring, probably early March. First of March or something like that. But I was ready to get married. T: Why? RR: I was getting old. [L aughter] T: So tell me about your wedding day. N R: I t was in October. It was a beautiful day R R: It was the hottest day I ever felt . NR: He was very nervous. RR: My step father and I, they put us in a little room in their front church. We had to wait for everybody . No air conditioning. NR: We had the wedding in a church. RR: It was hot and I was soaked. ist . T: Fair enough. So how long were you a waterman for? R R : I went to Fort Eustis when I was twenty one, probably about three or four years. But I did a lot of stuff when I was down there. I worked with A . J . down there. We crabbed. We conch dredged. We crab dredged . We even gill netted a little bit one time. NR: He did it as a side job, while he was at Fort Eustis .


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 10 RR: And then I went clamming with a couple other boys. My neighbor next door , Dean Close I would clam with him . I went clamming, riding around. I did that for like pieces of summer s and stuff. A nd Ronnie Ray got a job over at Fort Eustis and he asked me one time if I would put in for it and I did. I got hired over there and I took the job. T: Okay. RR: And then I came home and started doing it a little bit part time. T: Okay. Tell me about A . J . R R : A.J. Hurst? . He done a lot of work in his life. The Lord know s he done some work. You know, he have much when he grew up; e verything he got , he got. Nobody handed it to him on no platter. He worked hard; he pulled for it . He started off he told me that his uncle gave him ten old, rusty crab pots. A nd one time he had over three hundred in the water and three hundred in the yard. When I was there, he had a lot of crab pots. He caught a lot of crabs, too. I think we caught as high as forty barrels at one time. T: Do you want to tell me about some moments that stick ou t to you while you were crabbing, fishing, oystering, clamming? R R : d been crabbing in some bad weather and stuff like that before. I remember one time , we were in Mobjack Channel and the sea cap over the side of the boat and fills the boat inside full of water. It went into my boot s before it ran down to the bilge . And A . J . was scared. There was an the old man named Mr. Holms Burroughs . And he was a nice old man who lived down in New Point. H e


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 11 sa id , d arling , all stood up in the boat. [Laughter] Alton Armistead was another fellow; h e was real comical he told A . J ., how in the world did you all crab today? He said , I ma de three attempts to turn around and get back in the creek. [Laughter] And we crabbed that whole day and caught thirty some barrel s ell you how many crabs it was. We f ished the line going down with the wind on the stern and we turned around and we were go ing to fish back up and head into the wind. T northwest and it was blowing so hard that the wind was coming back and hit ting us in the face . [SENTENCE OMMITTED] W o we ran back up the bay and then turned around and ca me back down with the wind on our stern again. W e went and grabbed the same line we just fished. And the onliest thing I could tell different is We caught just as many crabs in that amount of time. W e just got through fishing it and there were a lot of crabs there , and they were coming wit h that storm, too, I guess. T: Wow. RR: A nd I was working with A . J. T: Y been with w atermen as a woman but also as the this industry? N R: a dying art . . . not a lot of people are in the water anymore because of all the rules and but they take great pride in their heri tage. T hey are very devoted to it. M y father I mean , he never put h is family second because of it, but he worked away down in Louisiana as a


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 12 fisherman down there s ix months out of the year. S o as soon as school was over pack up and go down there. A nd A ugust came, we came back home. A nd he came back home in October. J ust , they take great pride. Great pride in what they do. T: Does being from Mathews change how you see other places like Louisiana especially since you traveled? N R: Yeah. W ell , down in Louisiana they worked very hard and they played very hard , and I se e the difference in culture. ht into their culture with the way they talk and the food. [SENTENCE OMMITTED] RR: They have people that are like family down there, too. NR: t hey will treat you like their family . RR: If they like you d own there then you have a friend just like a brother. I mean, . N R: The main thing I saw dow n there when I was down there i s integration had not happened as fast as it did up here . [SECTION OMMITTED] And now I would go back t o visit, but Katrina destroyed Cameron t he hurricane. RR: No, Rita. N R: Rita. Not Katrina, the one after that. RR: The one in New Orleans was Katrina . N R: I mean took it out. Where we used to live is gone. T: Interesting. Where did you go to school? N R: Here in Mathews T: Were you in school? You were in school after integration, right?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 13 N R: It happened when I was in third grade. T: Do you have any memories RR: M m hm. I was in the fifth grade. I remember it. T: What was that like? NR: [ Section omitted ] Her name was Noreen Hudgins, she was a black lady , and I loved her just like I loved my g randma. So my parents never allowed me to use the N word. They never talked down to people. But Noreen stayed with my family mainly because her husb and was a way a lot on a by herself. So it was kind o f like we helped each other. [ Section omitted ] RR: Before they would go to Louisiana, he would get them to put his pound overboard. T hey would all help skin the st ak e s in the summer . N R: April. RR: there in April. [ Section omitted ] T: I mean , the D eep S out h is another picture. So you mentioned something know anything about G wy Island about G wy nn [ Section omitted ] RR: Yeah. T hey had a little racial spat in 1919 father told me. T: Did you hear what happened? Obviously, you were there.


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 14 RR: I h eard this stuff, you know, 1916 . [ Section omitted ] N R: Y ou might hear a different story, different versions of the story if you bring it up. RR: going by someone who was born in 1919 that was telling me about it so he remember it. H e heard it from his parents . T: I mean , know what actually happened , yo u know ? RR: Well, my aunt owned a nursing home over there. And she had a black cook named Shirley Thom as and I thought just She cooked cookies for me. ed there. He was the cook there at one time. [ Section omitted ] RR: M y d addy used to have a g uy named Bozo that he nicknamed Louis Banks b my Daddy pull ed his teeth out one time. He had a toothache and he pulled it out because so Daddy said, come here; take it out. N R: Omit RR: grandfather was from . Kevin Godsey, the guy you talked to the other day . T: Yeah . R R: He went to one of his great aunt s funeral today .


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 15 T: Oh, no. RR: Tennie . three years old. T: Oh , my goodness. What does it mean to you that the water community is aging? R R: fishing around here . I remember when go around this beach , and you had to dodge the nets all the way down the bay, there were so many of them. Coles Burroughs was the last pound fisherman around. T: Do you feel like something is lost culturally when that happens? RR: . . . Yeah. Of course. N R: I think my father got nothing bu t a garage full of old work boat pictures and se he feels like it might get lost . RR: o o . N R: My husband said something the othe r day. He hauled his boat up they do like every spring or so to dry them out, get the barnacles off and paint RR: N R: Now, t he art of building a big wooden boat is like a skiff is all but gone unless you go to a workshop in Mathews or Deltaville . RR: N R: A nd RR: Mr. Edward Diggs kind of getting up. And Edgar Diggs up in his eightie s. H . N R: And how many places around here used to build boats?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 16 RR: Well, a lot of them . [ Section omitted ] RR: Right there where Edward worked, it was his daddy , Edgar Diggs , Alton Smith, I believe Lenny Smith, Mr . Bony Diggs , Mr. Freeman Hudgins. A ll of them were boat builders , I mean, good boat builders. I believe they worked there at one time. T hat place was turning out some boats. N R: But the wooden boat is a lost art. RR: And then Alton Smith and Lenny built boats down there and then Edward and his daddy built boats down here . And Ned Hudgi ns and them, they built boats over there in the Winter Harbor . Everyone around here was a boat builder. T: Do you get a different experience from a wooden boat than you do from a fiber glass boat ? RR: They got a whole lot of c lass to them , I think wooden boats do . [Laughter] nice got a f iberglass skiff and when I come home , n in a fight with Mu hammad Ali. [Laughter] T hat old wooden skiff , sh e lays righ t there in the water like a log a bouncing and a beating and a jumping and throwing you from one side to the other. S all right if I get some weight in her, get her loaded down. [Laughter] N R: ll hear so many expressions. T: it is a big part of folk lore, too, which is really exciting. So if I was going to ask you in all seriousness if you had any ghost stories or apocryphal


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 17 tales for me , songs , a nything that you want to share a you. N R: Oh, yeah. Everybody knows about Old House Woods. [Laughter] RR: Old House Woods . Yeah, T: But please tell me, because every body has a di fferent wild thing that happens . RR: I alw ays heard that the main thing wa s the pirates came to shore there in a storm and buried their treasure. And they never did get it. They never did find where they buried it or they came back . I t was a child there that was crippled and some doctor was going to visit in the night or something, and he saw a ghost out there with no head . They were out there looking for that treasure and stuff and all that kind of thing . ne time I went down there: we were young children. Well, we were fourteen or fifteen. Mack was there Mack Forrest and he caught us coming out there. H e used to kind of look out for the place. He lived across the road. A nd he came out there and he had a big flashlight he was shining on us. A nd Doug Croswell, a boy from Gloucester, he looked: you do look like no ghost to me. And Mack said, y gho away from here. [Laughter] I thought that was the funniest thing I saw. That was the most spookiest thing I saw. [ Section omitted ] RR: A lot of superstitious people around here. Oh my goodness. N R: Great deal of superstition. RR: Her uncle had thirteen And h .


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 18 NR : putting together some things [ for a book . ] T his has been in like the last ten years. This is about my dad. This is my great grandfather, Captain G ene , and he used to live right down here. [ Sentence omitted ] RR: Who is that? NR: Armistead . [La ughter ] T: What? RR: He was tough. N R: Yes. That was my gra RR: H got his ring. You can drop a fifty cent piece through it. NR: His ha nd s were s o callused; RR: him. They had to get it from behind his ear . N R: Because he never would wear gloves . RR: He was strong, too. N R: And this is a lot of what h e used to tell me about the weathe r. Red sk y in the morning, sailor take warn ing. Red s ky in the night sailor s delight . the Bible , but he used to sa y when the new moon tips over if you see like a crescent moon and it starts to tip nd the sun do gs in the afternoon . In the sun setting you see this little rainbow looking thing on one side of it and in T: Oh, really? N R: Oh, that RR: I thought sun dogs meant wind. T: So do any of the rhymes have tunes to them?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 19 RR: Rhymes? T: Ye ah, like she was talking about. RR: I know two of them. T: What are they? RR: Oh T: Are they bad? RR: Yeah, I think. T: RR: No. [Laughter] T: Ugh. RR: T: there any female watermen? RR: Diana Burns , a girl on the island, used to help her father, and Earl daughter used to help him. T: d they stop? Do you know? RR: Well, Ronald Coles Burroughs sister s work in the water, but I can tell you what: they were nifty with a net needle. They used to hang all their d nets and everything. They were fast with net needles, especially Thelma Lynn. T: Do women ever handle the bookkeeping? RR: M m T: Okay. Is th at what your wife does?


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 20 RR: She the money I make. [Laughter] T: Okay. Fair enough. RR: te r anymore. I may s t art back now. T: Why not? R R: I did that in the fall a little bit. Gill netting and s tuff more or less. T: Did you ever miss it when you went to Fort Eustis ? RR: Yeah, I miss it. Yeah, I do. T: What was it like going to Fort Eustis ? Was it a culture shock? RR: Yeah, I was running a little boat over there, and I had a right good job. Yeah. I t was almost like being on the water. T: Almost like it? RR: Almost like it, yeah. T: Yeah. You mentioned superstitions. RR: Superst itions, plenty of that around here. T: em? RR: Just tellin you , like the number thirteen or blue on a boat on a boat. Anyth you gotta turn it upside down on a boat it the other way. What else, Nancy? Oh, a hatch cover. If you take a hatch cover off, it has to go N R: Oh, on Gw yn ,


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 21 RR: Oh, yeah, on Gw yn they d boat. N R: I was expecting our son one time and I went on a boat RR: N R: bec ause I was on there his engine blew up. [Laughter ] N R: Can you believe that? T: What do your children do? RR: My son work s for [ Omitted ] a navy contractor. the in the environmental section. They do the oil spills when they hav e the oil spills and stuff. They make the boom s, t hey get all that stuff together . And Leslie , she work s as a medical office manager. T: Is there anything about school either when your children were in school or when you were in school that you can tell me about? The teachers or the building? Or a nything like that? N R: . Same. I work a school nurse and teach . RR: It looks a little different. N R: RR: The high school added on. The high school looks completely different . N R: more vocational programs now same as when I went there. computers now and for our little county, got lots of technical stuff and a lot of RR: school. She teaches nursing.


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 22 N R: RR: the school nurse . T: had a lot of time dealing with parents? What is that like? [ Section omitted ] N R: They kind of tolerated it, that it was a normal thing for a man to drink. [ Section omitted ] T : What did you say about your g randma? RR: N R: She was feisty. RR: My grandpa was known to take a drink, I think. [Laughter] N R: See how subtle they make it? No. RR: He was from Poquoson. He ran a buy boat for [inaudible], an oyster company. [ Section omitted ] RR: When he was younger, he drank . His brothers h married. But later on and he just like to carry on. He was just a character is all, N R: Well, I think she wanted a father and a husband . RR: And she was home with seven children. My mother hates drinking because of it. She remembers it . [ Section omitted ] N R: And see how they needed the men in each boat. T: Sorry , your grandmother was:


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 23 RR: She was tough. N R: She had to be. R R: She was a tough lady. She just passed away not long ago. She was ninety five . T: Wow. RR: Ginna My daddy built the nursing home for Ginna . I read it in the re: 1959 was when he built it. I read the thing in there. T: take up too much of your time. T roughly all of the questions that I had of you and you answered a lot going through. But did you have anything you wanted to add , like maybe to tell people? NR: A bout Mathew s? T: Sure. N R: re a gem in this society that we live in because we have such ri ch heritage. I mean we had the Civil W ar, George Washington came to the mill that I was talking about. We have a n old tide mill up here and he came here to RR: Grind corn for the soldiers. That was in 1776. N R: The New Point Lighthouse . W e just found out recently well, I just did because my dad and I were do ing some investigation it was built with the same stone from the quarry that the White House on the Potomac was built people who are rich in heritage and great pride , I think , in our families. A nd my husband says something t ome he res. Have you ever heard of that term? Mm heard it! And I think that you were


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 24 RR: on s because they would come on the islands, you know? N R: And I think the reason that people use that term is because we want to keep RR: [ Section omitted ] RR: What it is , is when they come here they might want to turn it into what th ey came , here turn it around and m ake it like it was understand that. Another one : a whole lot of t hem come here and say how muc h they love this place and, oh, they love everything. In two it too much. N R: But we were all co me I say. T: I like that. N R: Y eah, we were all come heres at one time RR: from England . to I think he was the 15 great Dig g s was the first one who came here , and he had a brother Dudley Diggs that came to Yorktown . Was it his brother? It was another Diggs anyway. It was a John Diggs and a Dudley Diggs. T: Great, thank you. I appreciate it.


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 25 N R: Al l right. Civil War in Mathews: we did not have any actual bat tles here, but they about that. RR: They had a ship that came in here named The W olf got its name: it off in th e bay and the ship went ashore there. So they called that Wolf T rap. I heard that N R: Yeah. What did Pocahontas RR: something? N R: sland , we have something called Stingray Point. RR: Captain Hugh Gwynn, an Indian girl gave him it got capsized. He went there and saved her life. She gave him the island for saving her life . But that was Pocahontas. N R: What about the big h ome over there that has the ghost stor i es about the Civil W ar? RR: You mean Mr. Sam Smith s? He s hot a NR: No , the Gwy sland. The one that they interrogated people up in the attic? RR: Oh, that was always heard that , that they killed someone upstairs and the blood stil l comes on every time they have an easterly spell. I used to hear that ghost story when we were real young. Then over here at Sam in B eechland, I always heard that N R: They came


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 26 RR: A U nion soldier stole a ham out of the smoke house and they shot him for doing it, and they hung him N R: They dragged RR: No they shot him and killed him . They hung him up at Foster but he was already dead. T hey drug him up the road behind a wagon and they hung him in Foster, Virginia. N R: And it nside of it. And going down ball on the wall. That was jus t RR: Civil War. I know it whole lot of Civil War graves around here. the creek. N R: We have Captain Sally Tompkins, we have her home here RR: She was a n urse. N R: She helped the soldiers. I know Woodstock up h ere at Port Haywood i big white fence quarters across the road from it. But my g randfather used to be caretaker down there and the that you can hide in it, li ke false walls and stuff in the cellars so if the soldiers would come and want take over and take all the food and the sugar and the hams and everything th ey could find for their t roops. A nd the family would hide , kind of like on Gone with the Wi nd , and a lot of that happened around here. Lot of la r ge plantations here,


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 27 e sp ecially on the N o rth R iver I think. That was in Civil W ar times. Lot of rich history. T: Did you e ver hear anything about Indians? N R: Oh, yeah RR: caught a lot of stuff clamming: Arrowheads. T: We should talk about this. I want to know about that. RR: Okay. N R: You caught a mortar . RR: Mm hm, co rn grinder. I gave that to David Von , what they used to mash corn. But NR: Oh, no, I was telling her about the Indians. The National G eographic people came to Port Haywood across from where my aunt used to live plantation that they used to call [ Section omitted ] N R: Well, all around that shore they found and dug a reservation . And I think the land owners wo ike for school ch ildren, but I do remem ber when they found it and the National Geographic S ociety came and did a few things with it. School children did come down there for a while . [ Section omitted ] RR: She ought to go talk to Bobby Croxten . He can make arrowheads look original. N R: Well , we find them. You can find arrowheads. RR: a place Wolf Trap about two miles , and


TMP 037; Rowe; Page 28 it was right straight off of Winter Harbor, a little bit more up here. And it was a place off there. And it came up like fourteen feet of water and there was an island there at one time, you could tell. I caught arrowheads. I gave them all to Shirley Ann. N R: But that mortar , the pestle? RR: . NR: You could tell. I like this . RR: I caught that, a nd then about two weeks later , I caught the piece they put the and then you mash it with this thing . I found tomahawk heads. I found pipes . N R: Oh, lots of pipes T: RR: I do shark teeth [End of interview] Transcribed by: Hannah Fell, September 12, 2014 Audit edited by: Jessica Taylor, September 16, 2014 Final edited by: Jessica Taylor