Mr. FishDon’t worry, this fish doesn’t sing or flap its tail.  Our friend here was caught by Carroll Brown of Germantown sometime in the mid 20th century, long before animatronic fish became a fad.

Mr. Fish was part of a large donation of household and farm tools from the Brown family.  Carroll Brown was a farm manager, who worked in Forest Glen in the 1910s and moved with his young family to Germantown in the 1920s.  Brown managed the Pleasant Fields farm for Charles C. Waters, and later the Londonderry farm for Mr. Hoskinson (both are in the Neelsville area, near the intersection of Routes 355 and 27).  The Brown family did not live on site; they had their own home off West Old Baltimore Road. 

According to the donor, Frances Brown Brosius, her father Carroll began taking regular fishing expeditions after her mother died in the late 1940s.  With friends, he went to the Patuxent River once a week, and the Atlantic Ocean once a month.  For whatever reason (there is no plaque or marker on our fish), this specimen was considered exciting or important enough to be preserved; one of Mr. Brown’s friends, “the local minister” (according to Mrs. Brosius), did some taxidermy work and mounted the fish.

I do not know enough about fish to be able to tell you whether this guy came from the Patuxent or the Atlantic.  He’s not in wonderful shape, and was not taxidermied in the way professionals do today, with repainting to capture the original c0lors; he’s just a fish on a 16″ board (no offense to you, Mr. Fish).  He’s certainly not a fancy fiberglass replica. (I looked up “taxidermy fish” on the internet just now; why am I always surprised at the number of websites devoted to things I normally never think about?)  Nonetheless he tells a nice story about the life of a man from Germantown, even if he is a little worn-looking.