A close relationship betweeen the bay and its surrounding land has existed for centuries. The black waterman/farmer is an important partner to this lifestyle. Blacks were working the water during the oyster, clamming, crabbing and fishing seasons, and the farms
during the summer. Crops, such as tobacco, being shipped via the bay enabled blacks to work as laborers, long shoremen, and seafood, vegetable and fruit packers throughout the Cheaspeake region. These packing houses provided work opportunities for the entire family, including women and children.