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Collector’s Shelf: Captain Herman Cornelius Smith Sr.

Collector's Shelf

June 22, 1880 – October 12, 1951

Herman was raised near the communities of Penny’s Hill & Sea Gull, located just north of Corolla of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. 

In his early years he was taught the skills of a waterman and developed a life –long interest in hunting and fishing. At an early age Herman maintained a stand of wooden decoys and shorebirds that he carved. 

In 1902 Captain Herman Smith Sr. joined the Life-Saving Service and married Pattie Lee O’Neal in Corolla NC and they had seven children. 

Around the 1920’s while serving in the Coast Guard, Captain Herman Smith became an accomplished shorebird hunter. He made the comment, “It takes about three baskets of shorebird to feed the family.” 

Also, later in life he made a rig of twelve canvas geese and other canvas duck decoys that were kept in a shed along with some wooden decoys. 

He had a distinguished thirty year career in the Coast Guard during which time he worked for the following stations: Pea Island, Core Banks & Bodie Island. 

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