MARY ETTA was acquired by the Nelson's in 1869 and used as an oyster dredger, transporter, and shrimp boat. She was retired in 1969 to the shady banks of the Bon Secour River.
Although the actual builder remains a mystery, what records exist indicate that the vessel's keel was laid in 1860. Launched as the Curlew, she became property of the Nelson Family in 1896 and was renamed at that time. She is similar to the Biloxi schooners, but her cypress construction and original single mast are clues to researchers that she was likely a member of the New Orleans lugger fleet that plied the coastal shallows in the 1800's and heavily influenced the designers of the later schooners. MARY ETTA carried two masts for most of her active, commercial life. The second mast was added to maker her more competitve with her contemporary oystering vessels.
After the Railway Express shut down, Bon Secour Fisheries's land-based fleet of tractor trailers transported the catch to its final destination.
A once popular attraction in Bon Secour, Meme's Restaurant drew people from far and near. Damaged during Hurricane Frederick in 1979, it never reopened. People today still come seeking a delicious seafood meal at Meme's Restaurant.
Our C.E.O. John Ray Nelson with his father John A. Nelson
Prior to the expansion in 1978.
After addition of 30,000 square foot plant.
Delivering our products today.
Our in-house Quality Control Department inspects all products before they are shipped.
Our shrimp are carefully graded and packed to maintain superior quality.