Dogfish Head, historical society to present documentary on Delaware’s oyster industry Oct. 20

Reservations are required
October 16, 2013
The crew of the oyster schooner Maggie Myers works the Delaware Bay.

Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats and the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society will present "White Gold," a documentary about Delaware’s oyster industry, at 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 20, at Dogfish Head, 320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach.

While there is no charge for the screening, viewers may order from the restaurant’s menu, which will include oyster appetizers. Limited seating is available. Reservations are required. The evening’s special guest will be the filmmaker, Michael Oates. Call the historical society at 302-227-7310 to reserve a seat.

"White Gold" recounts Delaware’s past and present oyster industry, the attempts to revive it, and the efforts of one waterman to bring a wooden schooner back to it former glory. One hundred years ago, Leipsic, Little Creek, and Bowers Beach were among Delaware’s flourishing maritime communities, relying on huge harvests of Delaware Bay oysters, commonly called “white gold.” Stately wooden schooners plied Delaware Bay, dredging as many as 900,000 bushels annually. Stories abound of local captains lighting cigars with $100 bills and buying new Cadillacs every year.

Yet today’s annual oyster harvest is limited to less than 15,000 bushels, with oyster beds decimated by a succession of deadly diseases and all but one of the sailing schooners gone. The bayshore communities and the commercial watermen who built them somehow endure.

This event is sponsored Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats on behalf of the Rehoboth Beach Historic Society and Museum. "White Gold" was written and produced by Michael Oates, 302 Stories Inc. of Wilmington. It was funded by 302 Stories Inc., the Delaware Humanities Forum, and Berkana Center for Media and Education.