New book details herring fishing at Vaughan’s Creek

Published 11:37 am Wednesday, December 12, 2012

MURFREESBORO – Anyone who has ever dipped river herring in the spring time at Vaughan’s Creek north of Murfreesboro will be interested in a new book by Frank Stephenson.

“Herring Bow Fishing at Vaughan’s Creek, Murfreesboro, NC” will officially be released during a book signing event scheduled for 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Walter’s Grill on Main Street in downtown Murfreesboro.

The new book, published by Meherrin River Press, is the 26th released by Stephenson, all dealing with life in northeastern North Carolina. This latest work features photos taken by Stephenson of the unique style to dip herring using wooden bows with nets.

Vaughan’s Creek was an icon all its own. It once served as one of the premier herring bow fishing sites on the east coast of the United States. The photos in Stephenson’s book detail the popularity of this site, showing the road shoulders crammed with vehicles as well as herring bow fishermen standing chest deep in the creek or in boats. Other photos show groups gathered on the banks of the creek where they would clean and deep fry fresh herring right on the spot. The book also shows the severe flooding of Vaughan’s Creek by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Stephenson, a native of Hertford County, has photographed the rural south for over 50 years. His photographs depict ways of life and culture than have all but disappeared from the landscape of the southern U.S. such as moonshine, herring fishing and tobacco farming.

Many of his photographs have appeared in newspapers, books and magazines, and have been displayed in numerous museums and art galleries nationwide.

Stephenson is an administrative staff officer at Chowan University and has been a frequent guest on national public television and radio regarding his books. Articles concerning his books have appeared in newspapers nationwide, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angles Times, Atlanta Journal and Constitution, and The Chicago Tribune.

The new book can be ordered ($20 per copy plus $5 shipping) from Meherrin River Press, 301 East Broad Street, Murfreesboro, NC 27855 or by calling 252-398-3554.

Copies will be on sale at Walter’s Grill, the Blue Front Shoppe, Jefcoat Museum and Colonial Pharmacy, all in Murfreesboro, Tunis Landing Bait Shop in Tunis, and other locations in the region.