Although The Neck’s long history involves old oyster grounds, the area was also home to the Native American population. Being a Native American of the Monacan Tribe, Laura feels a special connection to the land and its waters. Laura’s Granddaddy, Earl Hazel Smith (posthumous), was a Native American Indian who had registered with the Monacan Nation just before his passing in 2012. The Neck has brought Laura closer to understanding her Granddaddy’s Indian heritage.
Laura finds Anderson’s Neck to be a place of peace, solitude, and reflection. She and Mike have spent many weekends watching eagles take flight, listening to the clicking sound of Kingfisher’s whiz by the water’s edge, and kayaking through the York River estuary. The land that was once home to the Indians is being occupied again to discover its real beauty and all that it offers.
Oyster Middens (mounds of oyster shells) that were discarded by the Indians can be found up and down the shoreline of Anderson’s Neck. These discoveries, as well as the oyster history regarding the land, have led Mike and Laura down the path of oyster cultivation.
The love of oysters started for Laura on her first wedding anniversary with Mike in Savannah, Georgia. Dozens and dozens of oysters were eaten while overlooking the Savannah River. No matter the occasion, oysters have become a special enjoyment for Mike and Laura. Laura’s only concern throughout the entire Anderson’s Neck endeavor was when Mike broke the news to her that they had to sell some of their oysters. She was hoping to keep the hidden treasures a secret to be shared in their kitchen only with family and friends. Yes, Laura has been known to enjoy knocking back several platefuls of oysters, but haven’t we all?