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Lil Shuckers: 1906

Lil Shuckers: 1906

Biloxi, Mississippi, circa 1906. "Point oyster houses." Just add ice and beer. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Lack of oysters

This happens every time they have to open the Bonnet Carre spillway. The influx of fresh water kills the oysters. They will be back next year, barring another flood. The oil really didn't bother the oysters much at all.

Sad News from the Gulf

The news this week is that the 2011 oyster season may have to be canceled, because of too much fresh water entering the Gulf this Spring. With the recent hurricane, oil spill, and now the floods, the booming oyster business of the coast is in danger of disappearing, and with it a unique slice of the Gulf Coast will disappear too.

Oyster Railroads

North & South, Vol. 3, 1904.

Oysters and Fish

Gulf Coast Canning Industry — Oysters, Shrimp, Figs — A Fisherman's Paradise.

Scattered along the coast between Mobile and New Orleans are many great oyster canning factories where from September until May the business of pulling up the giant product of the Sound is carried on. Biloxi has the largest factory in the world, and quite a group of the canners are congregated here so that the name of this city is synonymous with that of oysters, and is perhaps the most widely known of any on the Gulf Coast.

At the oyster wharves an interesting scene is enacted when the ships come in and pull up alongside the little "oyster railroads" with their miniature trains of cars standing easy to receive them. With automatic hoists the oysters are lifted to the wharf and emptied into the cars. When filled each train runs into the factory where a picturesque line of Bohemians, men, women and children, awaits them and falls to opening the shells as soon as they are steamed. The dexterity with which they learn to extract the bivalve is fascinating. As their tin cups are filled they are paid in cash. Shuckers make from 60 cents to $1.25 per day and besides this wage, receive free houses, fuel and water from their employers. Labor is an ever-present problem with the oyster canners— most of it comes from Baltimore, but the briefness of the season and lack of all year round employment deters many from making the long journey to the coast, especially if they are certain or steady work elsewhere.

Point Cadet

This is known locally as Point Cadet (pronounced "Point Cady" for you Yankees). Oyster, crab and shrimp processing have been done in this location for years. This area was damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Gambling casinos are now occupying much of the this seafood processing area.

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