Troublesome fishing junket
An element of the West Virginia Marching Harness [a newspaper of the Volcano boom days] of May 22, 1880, recounted what it was like for local fishermen to undertake a trip down the Hughes River to fish [fishing] lawsuits.
“Last Saturday evening, several members of the Ferret Co. set out for headquarters at Hughes River on a fishing trip, and arrived there at 5 a.m. after being thoroughly tossed about on the rough and uneven roads.
“Nothing in the line of accidents happened to the group except when the rear panel of the wagon gave way and a large quarter liter jug of coal oil fell on the only stone visible to two miles each way.The boys regretted it very much because it was the only jug they had with them, but they consoled themselves with the fact that it was still daylight.
“As it was now Sunday, the boys weren’t fishing…only catching a few to cook with…because they wouldn’t desecrate the Sabbath. Charlie was the cook, and the dinner he was cooking would have tickled an epicurean’s palate. Unheard-of French dishes were on display, among which the most notable were fried potatoes, raw onions and salt; dessert treats included lime burger, crackers and river water.
“After taking part in this sumptuous meal, they left for the classic limits of Leachtown, where they arrived at 7 o’clock, and immediately asked the hotel for accommodation which was refused them by the owner, who took them for many tramps . , and remarked to a viewer that it was the toughest set he had seen in this section for some time. The boys have regained their dignity at this point and would not discuss this not with him.
“As it was getting late and they were tired, they went to an elegant manor house nearby, which once served as a stable, where they found first-class accommodation and went to the soft and downy sofa made of ears of corn corn. The boys slept well after their weary wanderings, except when a pig came to challenge his right by pressing among them, but they did not care about such trifles. In the morning, a large goose was found sitting on the head of one of the boys who had had his hair cut with John Rau’s clippers, which she was diligently trying to hatch, thinking he was was an egg. Johnnie, a well-known drummer from Baltimore, woke up in the morning and started tugging at the end of a fishing line thinking it was the doorbell cord in his room at the Eutaw House in Baltimore, and remarked, “I’ll see Woods in the morning if I can’t get my meals delivered to my room. Roberts, let’s find another hotel.
Excerpt from the sesquicentennial edition of The Parkersburg News
May 19, 1971
“GOLLY WHIZ!” A fish story that can be proven to be true
The boys at the Ohio Valley Fishing Camp, on Steed Farm at the mouth of the Hughes River, made the biggest catch of the season on Sunday.
They have several established trotting lines in the Kanawha and Sunday Chas. Taylor, Supt. Of the Parkersburg Mills, and Councilor Moore were leading them when they found a fish entangled in one of their hooks that was more than they could handle. They shouted to the other boys for help.
He turned out to be a mud cat and weighed 116 1/2 pounds. A carp weighing 5 pounds and two small catfish weighing 2 and 3 pounds respectively were found inside “is honor.” The boys were so thrilled with their grand prize that they threw a big party and rejoicing which 450 people attended. “Cute” Moore acted as toastmaster while Wilson and McCulloch ate fish for everything in it.
Excerpt from the Parkersburg Daily State Journal
August 8, 1899
Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have any comments or questions about Look Back articles, please contact him at: [email protected], or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.