Farming oysters by the bay

Pam Jensen and Theresa Harlan at the former town of Hamlet

Pam Jensen was raised on her family’s oyster farm in the train-stop town of Hamlet, on the northern shore of Tomales Bay. Her great-grandfather immigrated from Denmark in the 1880s and bought the farm that included the train stop and its town. Pam’s mother was of Coast Miwok descent and many of her relatives still lived around the bay when she married Henry Jensen in 1955.

Today there is no trace of the town, the farm or the restaurant that the Jensen family operated for over 50 years, and all of her relatives (on both sides) have left the area. In this episode of the Story Shed, we join Pam and her cousin, Theresa Harlan, as they visit Pam’s childhood home and reminisce about the old days. Join us to hear their conversation about picking and shucking oysters, and what it was like to be a Native American kid in a mostly white community. Listen to the program by clicking the arrow below, or download the mp3 here.

For more information on the town of Hamlet, you can read a detailed history that was prepared for the National Park Service by Dewey Livingston.

This show originally aired on KWMR radio station on June 21, 2012.

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