In 1947, Nell Shipman made a film on location in Cape Charles, ““The Clam-Digger’s Daughter or The Story of Mr.Hobbs.” The film was shown for a short time and then went into storage. Somewhere along the line, the second reel was lost—nobody actually knows how the film ends.
On May 5th, 6th and 7th, Arts Enter and the Palace Theatre will be premiering “The Clam-Digger’s Daughter”, an original play based on the film, and set in Cape Charles during the 1940s. The story follows the clam digger Hobbs, who, after the great storm of 33, has had a difficult time making ends meet as a working waterman. In hopes of getting a breakwater built to help protect many of the clam and oyster beds, he travels to New York to try and get a wealthy banker to finance the project. Hobbs is turned away, and his anger and disappointment sets in motion a series of events that put him and every one he knows in danger.
“Bill Neville of the Cape Charles Historical Society found the film, at least first reel, and had a screening of it at the Palace a few years ago. That’s the first time I saw it,” director Wayne Creed said. “Nell Shipman was working on a very tight budget, so it was a bit restricting for her.”
Creed and Co-director Amy Watkins loosely followed the film until the first reel ended, and then wrote an ending for it. [Read more…]