Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/17

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
7
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE OYSTER.

"The original Saddle-Rock oyster was not only very large, but possessed a peculiar, delicious flavor, which gave it its reputation. And it received its name because it was discovered near a rock known as Saddle-Rock. A high northwest wind, continued for several successive days, always causes very low tides in Long Island Sound and its bays. On the farm of David Allen, situated near the head of Great Neck, on the eastern shore of Little Neck Bay, is a rock about twenty feet high, and from fifteen to twenty feet in diameter. The shape of the top of this rock resembles somewhat the form of a saddle, and from that circumstance is called Saddle-Rock. At low water the upper or land side of this rock is left bare, while the opposite or lower side is in the water. In the autumn of 1827, after a strong northwest wind had been blowing for three days, a very low tide occurred, and the water retreated far below the rock, leaving a space wide enough for a team of oxen to pass quite around it. This extraordinary low tide revealed a bed of oysters just below the rock. The oysters were very large, and possessed the most delicate flavor;

PSM V06 D017 Attachments for oyster spat.jpg
Fig. 4.—Fagots suspended from Ropes, to serve as Attachments for Oyster-Spat, in Lake Fusaro.

we collected cartloads of them, and placed them in our mill-pond (tide-mill). The news of the discovery spread among the oystermen, and boat-loads soon found their way to the city, where, on account of their excellent flavor, they commanded fancy prices, even reaching ten dollars a hundred!—an enormous price for those days. In a very short time the locality was exhausted, and for more than forty years there has not been a real Saddle-Rock oyster in the market."

At present the favorite native is the Shrewsbury, which is mainly obtained by planting, in the Shrewsbury River, seed procured from Tappan Bay. Of this seed there will be in a bushel about 2,500