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909 South Schumaker Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804

Museum Hours

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

Doughty Family- Hog Island, Virginia  

Across the bay from the village of Willis Wharf, Virginia is Hog Island, one of a number of barrier islands that run along the Atlantic coast of Eastern Virginia. On Hog Island was a settlement known as Broadwater. At its height around 1900, it had about 300 residents including the Doughty family. Little detailed information is known about decoy carvers on Hog Island. The scaup and merganser decoys of the type attributed to members of the Doughty family have solid bodies, inletted heads and no raised Wings.

It is a matter of record that Captain George W. Doughty (dates unknown) was a long time keeper of the light house that existed on the island. Eli Doughty (1846-1923) is credited with having carved a "rare bluebill drake". It is also very likely that members of the Doughty Family were employed at the Broadwater Hunt Club, a hunting lodge for sportsmen that existed on the island from about 1895 until it ceased operation around 1915.

A series of hurricanes eventually destroyed most of the buildings on the island and the protective pine forest that held the soil. By the early1940's, all of the residents had left the island. The only people on the island in the following years were members of the U.S. Coast Guard that maintained a station to aid in navigation. Today, the island is uninhabited.


For additional information

Chesapeake Bay Decoys: the men who made and used them, 1973 by R.H. Richardson.

Southern Decoys of Virginia and the Carolinas, 1983 by Henry A. Fleckenstein, Jr. Yesterday's Hog Island, 1985 by Edna M. Marstad.