Reedville Fishermen's Museum, Reedville, VA
Operated by the Greater Reedville Association, this local history museum has been in operation since 1988. The museum is located in the formr home of Captain Elijah Reed and includes several buildings that are used for preserving historic watercraft and other artifacts. The msuem icludes two vessels, the Claud W. Somers and the deck boat Elva C., that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum also offers exhibits drawn from materials that are historically important to the lower Chesapeake Bay. The museum collections and exhibits specialize in activities relating to Reedville fisheries and the lives of the region’s watermen. The museum also offers educational programs related to maritime heritage.
Backstory and Context
The town’s Main Street, a National Historic District, is a mile long and flanked by water. The larger homes along Main Street reflect the prosperity of the early menhaden captains and plant owners. Most of the houses in the Historic District have been carefully restored. Today, operating from Reedville is a large, modern menhaden fishing fleet with 13 ocean-going vessels. There are three smaller menhaden boats and numerous boats and people engaged in pound-net fishing, crab potting and dredging, soft crab processing, clamming and oystering.