Historical Society President Debra Jay announced “Maritime History in Wakulla County” as the program topic on Tuesday, April 11 at 7:00 pm in the Wakulla County Public Library at 4330 Crawfordville Highway featuring Ronald Fred Crum, John Young Roberts, and Larry Tucker sharing their experiences around the Panacea and St Marks waterfront.
Ronald Fred Crum, a native of Panacea born in 1948 to Henry and Rosa Lee Crum, is a commercial fisherman for over 50 years, a successful advocate for all fishing in the state Florida who prevailed on the shrimp net case before the Florida Supreme Court in 1996, serves on the Panacea Waterfronts Committee, and is president of the Wakulla Fishermen’s Association. Mr. Crum owned and operated Crum’s Service Inc. 49 years, he and his wife, Eloise, have two daughters and eight grandchildren.
John Young Roberts was born in 1942 and grew up in both Tallahassee and St Marks until his father, E.W. Roberts, passed away in 1958. He went to school in Tallahassee and spent the rest of his time in St Marks. Roberts says “it was like being in heaven” fishing and hunting all of the time. When he was about 13 years old Roberts worked on the late John Tooke's boat, the Jenny Lee, as a helper making $5 a day plus tips. By the middle 1950s there were numerous deep sea fishing boats operating out of St. Marks and at least one, maybe more, out of New Port. In the summers the town was booming with lots of folks coming down to fish, not only from nearby places like Tallahassee, but also from all over Georgia. Mr. Roberts’ father owned four deep sea fishing boats, the Osprey, the Sandspur, the Chris Craft, and the O.P. (named for O.P. Shields). He later sold the Chris Craft to Bud Martin, who named it for his wife, "Betty Lee.”
Larry Tucker is also a native of Panacea born in 1944 to Jack and Edith Tucker. His father was a commercial fisherman and charter fishing guide. His mother was a homemaker who also worked in the fishing industry. Mr. Tucker began taking fishing parties when he was 11 years old and was a licensed charter fishing guide for 52 years. He began building boats at about 15 years of age and learned the trade from his uncle, Henry Taylor. Mr. Tucker constructed various types of boats-pond boats, large shrimp boats, sports fishing yacht, tunnel boats, open skiff boats, any type of boat pertaining to commercial fishing. Tucker says, “Necessity and lack of funds created building!”
We can promise a delightful evening with a good dose of history so please join us!