Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jacob Have I Loved

"As soon as the snow melts, I will go to Rass and fetch my mother. At Crisfield I'll board the ferry, climbing down into the cabin where the women always ride, but after forty minutes of sitting on the hard cabin bench, I'll stand up to peer out of the high forward windows, straining for the first site of my island." Jacob Have I Loved From Katherine Paterson's book, 1980.

This is an award-winning book about the story of a young girl coming of age in an isolated Chesapeake waterman's town. PBS made a movie from the book that aired in 1989, and features an early role by Bridget Fonda.

Now why am I hawking a book on this blog? Because it was filmed in Crisfield and many of the scenes were filmed in this house, well known around these parts as the LaVallette house.

Albert LaVallette moved to Crisfield in the late 1800's. He had an idea to buy terrapins from the local watermen and sell them to high-end restaurants along the Eastern Shore. It was a good idea and the money began rolling in, enough so that he was able to build his wife and two children a new home - this home.

LaVallette built massive pens behind the house to store the terrapins; his business thrived, earning him the title of the "Terrapin King."

LaVallette's success did not go unnoticed. Other entrepreneurs began rounding up and selling the terrapins. This helped lead to their demise. It is estimated that in 1891, watermen rounded up around 30,000 terrapins. In ten years, the numbers dropped to 70.

LaVallette eventually lost his home, lived on a houseboat for several years, and died a pauper.

I live about two miles from the LaVallette house. It is beautiful from the water. If you are coming into Somers Cove Marina you will see it on your right. But don't go poking around. You know how it is, having a famous house and all?

But do rent the movie. It has some beautiful Crisfield scenes it in. And you will enjoy the movie. Read the book, too.


willow said...

How cool that a film was made in Crisfield! I'm adding it to my list. It must be a beautiful movie.

Patty said...

Willow: Look at me - recommending movies to you. It is usually the other way around. I do think you will enjoy it. Think of us while you are watching it.

Joanne said...

I can certainly understand a movie being filmed in picturesque Crisfield. The charm, colors (that roof!), and personality must carry over well to film.

~JarieLyn~ said...

It sounds like an interesting movie to watch. When I watch it, I'll point out all the sights to whomever I'm watching it with and tell them I've seen these in your photos. It'll be just like I've already been there.

Life with Kaishon said...

I saw your comment at Noe Noe Girl's blog tonight and I was so gripped by the little tiny picture of you in the comment box. I just had to come over to meet you. Boy am I glad I did : ) Very nice to meet you!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I'll look for it Patty. Thanks.

Kim said...

How neat to have your beloved hometown featured in a story, and movie...I would love to come and visit...and as earlier discussed, we will wind our way there from Racine, Wisconsin, via Lake Michigan and beyond, on our boat...may take some time, but wouldn't that just be a dream vacation?

Patty said...

Kim. Wind on down and over. A lot of people sail to Somers Cove Marina from your part of the country. Wait until it warms up.

Oz Girl said...

I love this house... beautiful. And very cool that they actually made a movie in Crisfield! Sounds like an interesting story -- both the book, and LaVallette.