100 Years Ago in Warren: Shad return to the Palmer River


Taken from the pages of the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in April 1913:

We've been shad

It is time for the Palmer river shad and a more succulent fish was never served to the epicure than these same shad, providing they are fresh — and are cooked right. They ought never to be packed in ice, and should always be cooked by being first split, then fastened to a cedar plank and then set up against the fire. Oh-h-h, it makes the mouth water. There was a time when the shad ran freely up the river and were seined in large numbers. Five o six large nets were placed by different concerns and yielded a large return for there was a good market for them. This was from 25 to 30 years or more ago. And since that time many firms have had a whack at the business. But the season is short. Foul sewerage has killed out the fish to some extent — and climatic conditions at different years have had their influence. Then too, shad are fickle creatures, so experts say, notional as a fair maiden of 55 summers. this year Robert Bryden is laying his plans to capture what he can of them. He has driven his stakes and is getting his seines into position, running out his leaders, to guide the fish as they come up the river to the spawning grounds. In years gone by when the fish had free run and could reach the fresh water without let or hindrance they went up as far as what is known and to which they gave the name of the Shad Factory.

Grab your shotgun

The neighborhood of Cherry street was startled about midnight, one evening last week with the sound of a gunshot and it woke the echoes for a much greater distance. About 12 o'clock the  family of Preston I. Hall was aroused by a violent ringing of the door bell and then by a tremendous pounding, as if with sticks on the outside of the house. Looking out two fellows were seen near the house evidently the ones engaged in the business of making the disturbance. They were asked their errand, but no reply was made. Someone in the household seized a shot gun and fired into the air, thereupon the rascals vamoosed. Officer Cronin was sent for and made an investigation but could find no one, nor were there any evidences of a break. It is said that earlier in the evening prowlers of the same character were heard about the home of David Miller in East Warren, but were frightened away. What the object of any such disturbance could be, would be hard to say. That there are a lot of doubtful characters hanging about the town somewhere, is quite evident. We have had breaks and noise enough. The trouble is not with the police, but they cannot land the ruffians for this reason 0 whoever is engaged in the business knows the whereabouts of the police in tip top shape. If a citizen has midnight prowlers, as many say they have, he would be justified in loading his gun with salt and aim - well, not into the air. Old Putnam's advice at the Bunker Hill would be pretty good — "Wait till you see the whites of their eyes," then up, boys, and let 'em have it.

Deadbeat dad

A special session of the district court was held Sunday morning, at which clerk John L. Lonergan presided. The culprit was Max Gabrill. There had been a warrant out for Max for some time, issued on the ground of non-support and Saturday night the spell was broken and the hand of the law was laid heavily upon his shoulder. Gabriel before the court was a different man and promised to give his wife at least $3.00 a week and as much more as he could. On the promise he was admitted to probation.


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