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The Wharf That Was by Gary D. Crawford

The September weather was delightful this year. It seemed we had one perfect day after another. Folks said they hoped it could continue indefinitely. I knew what they meant, of course, but since 2003, I haven’t felt quite the same way about September. That was when Hurricane Isabel shoved so much water into the Bay that it overflowed and caused massive damage everywhere. Some happened down our way. For those of you who don’t know the area hereabouts, there is a little bay at the south end of Tilghman’s Island called Black Walnut Cove. The headland to the southwest is Black Walnut Point; the one to the southeast is Bar Neck. The village of Fairbank is set on a tongue of land that extends south into the Cove and divides it into two portions. The road into Fairbank ends at a county wharf. It had been deteriorating for years, and in 2000 the County finally condemned it for vehicular use. Much debate ensued about whether to repair it, replace it, or simply remove it altogether. Neighbors insisted she was strong enough to save, that her substantial timbers were solid. All that was really needed, they said, were a few

new piles and some deck boards replaced here and there. The county said many piles were rotted and the deck was no longer firmly attached in several places. Given the reduced commercial activity in the area, the Council questioned the need for expensive repairs. Hurricane Isabel then made that decision for us. Sometime very early on Friday morning, September 19, 2003, the old wharf lifted off from her pilings and pulled away. She came apart rather gracefully, I’m happy to report. The stringers separated neatly with little rending of wood. Carefully disassem-

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November 2013 ttimes web magazine  

November 2013 Tidewater Times

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