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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Invasion of the Horseshoe Crabs

Last Sunday's Blog had a "gossip" column from the front page of the September 6, 1917 edition of the Tuckerton Beacon. It basically reported on the "comings and goings" of the mostly out of town military men assigned to guard the Tuckerton Radio Station and Tower during World War I.

Shortly after the gossip column appeared, I got the following email from Dave Kalm down in sunny Florida. Seems that it awoke a long forgotten memory regarding the radio tower in the World War II era. It appears that the tower was still being guarded by "out of towners". How do I know that? Well, the conclusion of Dave's story seems to clearly indicate that fact.

I'm thankful that Dave choose to share the radio tower story with us, as his email sure hit my funny bone. I even had to chuckle out loud. Hope that you find it amusing, also.

Pete S

When my Dad, Otto Kalm, was a shellfish watchman he stayed in a cabin at Cape Horn. You had posted a picture of the cabin on one of the blogs. If you find that photo, put it back on and see how many can identify the ones in the photo. Don Maxwell was one of them.


You've heard of "Where's Waldo?" The question here is "Where's Don?" The caption identifying all those in the above photo can be found on the Sunday, June 21, 2009 Blog edition, by clicking on the link below: http://bassriverhistory.blogspot.com/2009/06/believe-it-or-not.html

We went to Specks Marina quite a bit, during that time. Sometimes we towed in their rental row boats in a sudden storm, and we also picked up friends and family at their place when they were to stay at the cabin with us. Captain Specks also had a small restaurant. My Dad used to open clams for the clam chowder, which was the best I have ever eaten.




Well, we were at Captain Speck's one Saturday afternoon, when we heard shots fired in the vicinity of Graveling Point. The wireless station had sentries posted there.


The beach at Graveling Point is at the end of present day Radio Road which was named after the wireless tower. The fish factory can be seen in the distance. (March 27, 2003 photo by Pete Stemmer.)


This present day aerial map shows the relative location of Graveling Point to the Tuckerton Radio Tower. The green arrow shows the location of the tower. It's not surprising that a sentry guard would be posted at the Graveling Point beach, as it is an ideal landing place for anyone wishing to sabotage the radio tower. Remember, Dave's story is pre Mystic Island. The area would have been deserted in the World War II era. (Map courtesy of Google Maps.)

Not long after the shots rang out two army vehicles carrying colored soldiers went speeding over Big Creek bridge, headed for Graveling Point. A little later all heck broke loose. Sounded like a war broke out. In the end, we found out that some horseshoe crabs came ashore and the sentries thought they were mines and shot at them.


For all you "city slickers" out there in the Blog-O-Sphere who have never seen a horseshoe crab. (Photo courtesy of Google Images.)

When they didn't stop coming, the sentries fired more times. Of course, they were only hitting the crabs where it didn't hurt them, as they keep their eggs in the front part. Well, they demolished the horseshoe crabs, and we all got a big kick out of that. I am sure they had never seen a horseshoe crab before.

Dave Kalm


PS- The irony of the story is that the horseshoe crab's motto is "Make Love, Not War!"


1 comment:

  1. I talked with my sister, Claire, today, and told her about the blog about the horseshoe crabs. She reminded me of another incident involving guarding the Tuckerton Wireless.

    My Dad, Otto Kalm, was a shellfish guard at Cape Horn and Washie Allen was a guard at Graveling Point. Doughty Cramer was a relief guard. He relieved my Dad and Washie on their days off.

    Doughty had a garvey built into sort of a houseboat that he stayed in, instead of using the oyster watcher's cabins. His houseboat looked kind of different, because it had a smoke stack coming out of the middle of it.

    One day Doughty went to let Washie have his day off, and the wireless guards surrounded his boat and took him captive. They let him go after they found out it wasn't a German submarine.

    Dave K

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