Landing the catch

phillips bucket wp

For decades, shanties stood at the bend in Oyster River in West Chatham. In the early 1980s, the Chatham Shellfish Company operated there, buying quohogs, steamer clams, conches and mussels directly from the fishermen. The wooden plank from float to doorway traverses the white chalky calcium that has built up from the shells of countless oysters and clams. Here, company co-owner Paul Phillips carries two pails of cherrystones into the shanty for bullraker Everett Robie as town assistant shellfish warden John Brooks waits to inspect the sizes.