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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.

Joe Hayman (1886-1975) Coinjock, HC  

Joe Hayman is remembered as a quiet, easy-golng man who made his living as a commercial fisherman and waterfowling guide. For a time shortly after getting married, Hayman shared a partnership in a car repair business. P.H. O'Neal Boatworks later hired him; Hayman built duck hunting and fishing boats, skiffs and out-board boats by hand. He also crafted ash push poles, many of which are still ln use today.

Hayman crafted both canvas-covered and wooden decoys. The canvas-covered birds replicate geese and swan and involve the handiwork of both Joe and his wife, Mildred. Joe cut out the bottom board, secured the wire frame and fastened the head and neck. Mildred's job was to cut out the canvas, sew it and tack it over the wire framework. She then gave it back to Joe who painted it. with a pocketknife, Hayman carved the wooden decoys from juniper. He concentrated on canvasbacks and redheads, but also produced black ducks, scaup, coot, wigeon and just one pair of mallards which he gave to Mildred as a wedding present. Local guides and gunning clubs on Back Bay and Currituck Sound bought Hayman's decoys. According to Mildred, the highest prices Joe charged were $12 for a Canada goose, $30 for a swan and $1.50 for replacing a canvas cover (Coppedge 164). When friend and fellow carver Ned Burgess began to have trouble carving his own decoys, Joe Hayman helped him by roughing out bottom boards and necks on his bandsaw.