The communities of Chance, Deal Island, and Wenona, Maryland are typical of the local fishing villages that have dominated Maryland’s Eastern Shore for over 200 years. Oystering in the winter and crabbing in the summer have provided the mainstay for the fisheries in this part of the Chesapeake Bay. You pass through Deal island as you go through Chance on e the way to Wenona. Casual visitors usually do not even know they have passed through Chance and Deal island until they get to Wenona, and realize that they have come to the end of the road.
Wenona is home to the full range of bay water craft that fish the Chesapeake Bay throughout the year. During the winter months, under Maryland law, skipjacks, under sail alone, are the only vessels permitted to dredge for oysters on Wednesday through Friday of each week; power dredging is only permitted on Monday and Tuesday. Flanking the two skipjacks is a typical deadrise work boat common on the Chesapeake Bay used year round for fishing the wide variety of seafood the Bay is famous for. In this scene she is rigged for crabbing and has just unloaded a catch of crabs. Skipjacks are not generally used in the summer and these months are used for maintenance and the sails are usually removed for repair and patching.
Shirley’s Shack is a local landmark that has probably been photographed and painted more than any other Eastern Shore Scene. For those wondering why the abandoned milk truck seen for many recent years to the left of Shirley’s Shack is not in this July 1981 scene it is because the truck was not left there until 1987 or 1988.