The Poca Crawdad

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The Poca River Postal Authority is pleased to issue a stamp honoring the crawdad of the Poca River.

From the times of the earliest settlements along the Poca River people have enjoyed the large crayfish taken from the Poca River.  These were a unique species (Cambarus pocatus: commonly called "crawdads"), and were larger and more succulent than most.

In 1876 a very enterprising man by the name of Asher Wattle decided that he could create a thriving business by farming and selling the crawdads of the Poca River.   To that end, Asher constructed weirs in the river above and below Eleanor-on-the-Poca.  He collected organic matter such as crayfish might consume, and dumped this in the river above his first weir.  This had the effect of fattening the crawdads substantially.  Wattle continued this practice through the fall and winter of 1876-77 with the idea of harvesting the fat crawdads for his inventive commerce in the following summer.  

However, the spring rains raised the Poca River to unusual levels, and Wattle's weirs were washed out.  Of course, the fat crawdads were unable to resist the fast currents, and were swept downstream.  That summer the residents of the lower Poca were delighted by the exceptionally large crawdads they found in the river. They attributed this boon to Providence.  Asher Wattle was so discouraged by the loss of his "crop" that he left the area and became a Bible salesman in central Indiana.

The stamp was issued in a plate of 18 stamps in the denomination of 41pu. The date of issue was 5 January, 2003.

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