Anna Thelma Vansant Oral History

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Record 11/16
Copyright HSKC and Tyler Campbell
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Date 04/08/1983
Abstract Anna Thelma Moffett Vansant (born 1909)

Thelma Vansant was born in Baltimore but came to Rock Hall as an infant. She was a teacher in Kent County for 44 years. Anna's father, William Moffett, was a Rock Hall waterman. She recalls the seasonal nature of his work. "He did the oystering in the fall and…the winter fishing meant he had what he called a shanty, it was an arc and…he and his crew would tow the shanty to Love Point because the best fishing grounds at the time were off Annapolis….They had a spot on the shore and they'd pull the shanty up…and there were bunks in the shanty…and he would stay there and come home on weekends….The spring fishermen would go up and lay their nets out and get the spring fish, shad and things. Now in the winter it was rock….If you say spring fishing to me and shad, that meant Betterton…I don't know that there are any shad there today."

Unlike many watermen who crabbed in the summer, Anna's father worked at the amusements park in Tolchester running the "whirlpool dip" ride. "He and another man you know would set the cars off and they would go up the incline and around and he…attended to the boilers…But every morning my father with his helper walked the entire length of the whirlpool to repair or see that anything needed to be done and when I was in high school I sold tickets at Tolchester and went up every morning with my father." The Moffett's worked for Herbert Stine, who owned the concessions at Tolchester at that time in the 1920s. The steamboat and ferry at Tolchester allowed the family to visit Baltimore and re turn the same day. Later, Anna traveled to the state teachers' college [now Towson University] by water then took a streetcar to Towson. Ironically, Thelma recalls "it was more convenient to go and travel" by water in those days than it was by car in the 1980s.

1 original cassette tape
Interview date 04/08/1983
Media Compact Disc
Narrator Vansant, Anna Thelma
Object ID 2681
Object Name Disc, Compact
Title Anna Thelma Vansant Oral History
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ Oral histories copyright Historical Society of Kent County. Images copyright Tyler Campbell. Duplication or publication only with permission.

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Last modified on: September 07, 2012