Decoys in Chesapeake Bay Gunning Country

We all know that our part of Harford County is historically known for its great decoy carvers. Around the Chesapeake Bay, gunning for waterfowl was known around the entire country.

We at the Aberdeen Room Museum were delighted to have a visit from Captain Harry Jobes, Aberdeen's well-known decoy carver. Not only does he carve beautiful specimens, but he is a great story-teller as well.

"I have been carving decoys for most of my life. I began carving In Havre de Grace, at the age of 9, and learned the art of decoy making in its truest form from R. Madison Mitchell. I worked in Mitchell's decoy shop for over 25 years before opening a shop of my own."

Captain Harry Jobes has spent all of his life on the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna Flats as a commercial waterman, hunting guide and charter boat captain. That close association with nature gave him the firsthand insight into the waterfowl world.

Captain Harry's decoys have been featured in books and museums as well as numerous private collections across the United States.

The captain and his wife, Virginia, reside in Aberdeen, where their decoy shop is.

Not only were we honored with the captain's visit, but now we have a pair of high head canvasback decoys on display, generously donated by him! The decoys are part of our museum's newly arranged exhibit.

Lucky were those of us who had a chance to "gun" for waterfowl in the early morning hours. There is a "Harford Democrat" clipping found in one of the R. Lee Mitchell scrapbooks of 1960 titled "A Day with the Canvasbacks" by Hollis Baker that tells of those exciting days.

There are also clippings from the same scrapbook of the Mitchell family, "Various Eras of Past Oakington."

Another clipping from "The Aegis" of September 1960 tells of the moving of the Chemical Products Plant into the former Smith Michael Cannery in Aberdeen.

From 1937 is a business card from the former Forest Greens Golf Club in Perryman. Remember it?

A program from the Aberdeen High School 1939 Alumni Association where the address was delivered by Major G. W. Outland.

A clipping from the "Harford Democrat" of April 1975 tells of "Perryman Nuclear Plant May be Planned in 1976."

A clipping from 1971 announces the "Ordnance Museum to Begin Work."

A clipping from November 1963 shows President Kennedy at the ribbon-cutting for the Northeastern Expressway.

A "Harford Democrat" clipping of 1967 shows the C.B. Osborn house coming down to make way for Aberdeen Village on East Bel Air Avenue.

Also included is a brochure from the former Ruth's Beauty Fair at 214 W. Bel Air Ave. in Aberdeen.

Bettye and Mike Danish donated pins and calendars from the LPGA tournaments in 2005 and 2007, as well as cards and tickets from the IronBirds' inaugural season in 2000.

For the Aberdeen Room library, we donated a Cronin Estate book, "Eat Drink and be Merry in Maryland" by Frederick Stieff, and "The Disappearing Islands of the Chesapeake" by William Baker Cronin.

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