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Ira D. Hudson
and Family -
Chincoteague Carvers

by Henry H. Stansbury

Ira Hudson is undoubtedly Chincoteague, Virginia's most famous decoy maker. During the first half of the 20th century, he made thousands of working decoys, never using a pattern; therefore, no two are completely alike. He also repaired and repainted untold numbers of decoys for hunters and gun clubs.

Ira carved hundreds of wonderful miniature versions of his full size decoys and made spectacular flying and standing decorative birds which he sold for a dollar or two or used as barter to provide food and clothing for his family. Although he was barely able to read or write, and never drove a car, Ira could build any small boat you could show him, without ever drawing any plans.

Over his years as decoy maker and boat builder, Ira's large family provided ample assistance, creating a cottage industry that modestly supported them for nearly 50 years. His oldest son, Norman, and his youngest son, Delbert, although 27 years apart in age, each achieved a measure of fame for their carving and painting abilities. Their collaborative efforts with their father, as well as their individual work, are included in this book.

When Ira Hudson died in January 1949, he was already well known and respected - by the hunters who used his decoys as well as the emerging decoy collecting community. But no one in his family could have dreamed of the fame his carvings would achieve in the ensuing years.

160-page book featuring over 250 full-color photographs. 8-1/2" x 11" hard cover format.

ISBN #0-9724423-03-8



Ordering Information
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