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Ronald L. Rue


Award Winning Decoy Carver

First Curator of the DCHS Carvers Museum


          On the Eastern Shores of the Chesapeake Bay, in the counties of Somerset, Talbot, and Dorchester there is an abundance of waterfowl and this has given rise to some of the great and well known decoy makers. Names such as the Ward Brothers, Ed Parsons, the Elliott brothers and Ronald Rue. Their collectibles are cherished  all over the world. Ron Rue was selected as the first curator of The New Dorchester County Historical Society’s “Carvers Museum.”

          The painting above by artist George Wright which was featured on the cover of Wildfowl Arts and depicts Ron examining this youth’s decoy. It is reminiscent of the Ward brother’s 1954 examination of Ron’s early Merganser carving that he took to Crisfield for their appraisal. This visit and their kind encouragement resulted in monthly visits and their strong influence on his carvings The results  of such critiques speak for themselves, as Ron Rue became one of the  finest decoy makers, and is himself a Chesapeake Bay classic. That is why his decoys are on display at the Harve de Grace Decoy Museum and why his birds are roosting in Buckingham Palace.
     Ron’s decoys and decorative carvings have been mentioned in many publications, among these are:

  • The Atlantic Flyway … Winchester Press … Publ. 1980

  • Master of Decorative Bird Carving…Winchester Press..Anne Small, 1981

  • Chesapeake Bay Decoys & The Men Who Made Them..Tidewater Press..R. Richardson, 1973

  • Decoys of The Mid-Atlantic Region..Schiffer Publ. .. H. Fleckenstein, 1979


          Among those loaning decoys and related memorabilia to the DCHS are Steve Foxwell, Eddie Dean, Smitty Rue, Bob Parks, Gary Marshall, Melvin Hickman, Richard Drescher and Paul Winn.

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