Harold Bickings Jr.
The Bayshore Center at Bivalve’s Oral History program is dedicated to preserving the oral history and culture of New Jersey’s Bayshore region by saving for posterity the oral histories and material culture connected with the Bayshore region, by creating a repository of recordings and data that can be used for research, by preserving, treasuring and celebrating the environment, history and culture of the Bayshore region and by sharing the heritage of the Bayshore region today and with future generations through program related activities serving visitors, students and scholars.
Harold Bickings Jr. is a descendant of a long line of oyster fishermen who have been in the business since the 1800s. His great-grandfather, a Danish immigrant, started the family's involvement in the oyster industry, which was carried on by subsequent generations. Bickings Jr. has a wealth of knowledge about the family's history in the oyster business, including the trials and hardships they faced, the locations of their businesses, and the names and locations of other companies in the Port Norris and Maurice River area. His insights have been instrumental in verifying historical information for the Bayshore Center at Bivalve Museum.
Scope and Content Note:
This interview with Harold Bickings Jr., conducted on December 4, 2013, provides a detailed account of his family's history in the oyster business in the Delaware Bay area. Bickings Jr. shares stories from his great-grandfather's arrival from Denmark in the 1800s to his own personal experiences in the industry. The interview covers the evolution of the family business, including the acquisition and operation of various oyster boats and the challenges faced over the years. Bickings Jr. also provides valuable information about other companies in the Port Norris and Maurice River area, contributing to the historical record of the oyster industry in this region. The interview was conducted by Patricia Moore, a volunteer at the Bayshore Center at Bivalve Museum, and Rachel Dolhanczyk, the museum's curator.
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