|The clutter on the shore in the 1970's|
In the early 60's the state installed tons of granite rocks in groins running perpendicular to the shore. The jetties were intended to stem the rapid erosion of the shoreline that had intensified after several powerful hurricanes of the previous decade. For the most part, these seemed to work, at least to the point that the waterline now is not all that far removed from where it was when the “breakwaters,” as we called them, were first installed.
|An example of the clutter and waste that accumulated on|
the shore at the Landing in the 1960s.
But there were other stationary structures that dotted the shoreline; and these ones actually added to both the beauty and the function of the spot they sat on. These were the “net spreads” that were used by fishermen to dry and mend their cotton nets. The spreads were framed of wood, either of rough cut lumber or sometimes of small trees that were trimmed with a hand plane to smooth the knots that could snag the net. The cotton mesh of the nets was prone to rot if not dried out soon after to being used, so almost every day, before heading up the path for home, the Island fishermen would spread their nets over the raised platform so they could thoroughly dry in the sun and breeze.
|Willie Guthrie's net spreads at our landing (@ 1962)|
Photo by Tommy Hancock
By the later part of the decade cotton nets began to give way to nylon, polypropylene, and other fibers that were not nearly so susceptible to the ravages of salt and moisture. Eventually the old net spreads were not needed, and no longer maintained by the ones who had used them. The top boards broke or were pulled off. Then the posts either rotted away or were washed up by the encroaching tides. No new ones were built and within a decade they were gone completely, not so very different from the way of life of which they remain a pleasant memory.