Rhode Island Commercial & Illustrated Mail
     Frank C. Pettis Oysters
Washington Oyster Market - Providence, RI
Mid-Nineteenth Century

Narragansett Bay Oysters were described as incredibly plump and sweet during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Robert Pettis originally founded the Pettis family oyster business during the 1850s. He built an Oyster House on Orange Street in Providence which became known throughout New England for the large size and plumpness of it's oysters. Frank Pettis took over the family oyster business from his father during the latter part of the century.

During the 20th century the Rhode Island Oyster Industry steadily declined due to several factors including a massive starfish invasion of Narragansett Bay, poaching, and pollution. The final blow to the industry was the hurricane of 1938, which left a layer of  heavy sediment on most of the prime oyster grounds.

There are still a few Oyster Farms, (Aquaculture) in state waters producing Rhode Island oysters, however the state is not known today for its oysters, but is a major producer of commercial clams,

See: Quahogs

RI Historical Society
The Post Offices
Home Page
RI Tercentenary Issue History
RI Philatelic Society
Recently Added Pages
Philatelic Primer
Rhode Island Around the World
Rhode Island Town Postmarks
Other Websites of Interest

Return to Commercial Covers
Thumbnail Page Part 3