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909 South Schumaker Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804
410.742.4988

Museum Hours

Mon - Sat: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Charles Black (1882-1956) Bordentown, NJ

Charlie Black was an all around riverman and hunted for the market. He made decoys to accommodate the needs of his family and ended up initiating what is now known as the Bordentown school of decoy carving. Black's total output is estimated between four and five hundred birds. Each one is hollow with minimal detailed carving and a flat bottom. Four screws secure the square shaped weight on the bottom of each lure, and a brass screw and washer hold the leather loop for the anchor line. For the most part, Black produced scaup and black duck decoys, but he also carved buffleheads, canvasbacks, mergansers, redheads and a rig of wigeon. He also created a rig of brant for hunting on Barnegat Bay. It was not Black's custom to sell decoys, but the few he did sell went for two dollars a piece (Huster 26).

To support himself during the off seasons, Black trapped muskrats, ate the meat and sold the furs. He also built boats, namely the first double-ended duck boat on the Delaware River. Hunters in this area of the river were known for being territorial. When several men from Tulley town felt as if Charlie Black was threatening their hunting grounds, they destroyed his boat and decoys. Black was so incensed that he never hunted again (Huster 26).