The McNasby Family – Roots
The McNasby family story begins in Baltimore, Maryland after John and Isabel McNasby emigrated from Armagh, Ireland during the Great Famine (also known as the Irish Potato Famine). John was employed as a machinist. John and Isabel had four children:
- William Joseph McNasby Sr.
- Kate Beene
- Alice Lapson
- Jennie McNasby
William Joseph Sr. was born to John and Isabel McNasby on January 10th, 1853 in Baltimore, Maryland. William met his wife Mary Elizabeth Brittner, daughter of Daniel Brittner and Anne E. Yost, while he worked as a furniture dealer. In 1886, William Joseph Sr. opened the McNasby Seafood & Oyster Company; the same year his son William Joseph Jr. was born. William and Mary had 10 children, only 5 survived into adulthood:
- Jennie Irene
- Isabella Crowley
- Robert Emmet
- William Joseph Jr.
- Justus John
Beginnings in Annapolis
In 1904 at the age of 18, William Jr. (known as Mac McNasby) joined his father’s business as an oyster packer. McNasby Sr. moved the business from Baltimore to Annapolis in 1906, opening a shop front on Compromise Street. While the business was rooted in Annapolis, the family lived at 126 Market Street. In 1909, William Sr. purchased the property at 723 Second Street in Eastport from Solomon and Maggie Snowden. The facility opened for business in 1918. The family successfully opened four oyster packing plants: one in New Jersey, two in Maryland, and one in Virginia.
In 1919, Mac McNasby opened a seafood distribution center at 505 West Exchange Street in Akron, Ohio. While living in Akron, Mac met and married his sweetheart, Pearl Sherbondy, and they purchased a house at 227 Rhodes Avenue.
Upon the death of William Sr. in 1941, Mac moved back to Eastport to carry on the work of his father and operate the packing facility on Second Street. In 1973, with the death of Mac, the Second Street facility was willed to John W. Turner and his wife Mary Lou Turner.
On February 13, 1986, John Turner sold the business and name to H.L.P Incorporated. H.L.P intended to tear down the structure and build waterfront condos. The City of Annapolis established Maritime Zoning district to protect maritime businesses from development pressure. The City of Annapolis purchased the property from H.L.P Incorporated, renovated the space, and opened it as a waterman’s seafood cooperative. In 1994, the cooperative dissolved and two private seafood processors attempted to run wholesale/retail businesses but failed. In 2001, the Annapolis Maritime Museum leased the property from the City.