Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday Dinner At Sparrows Oyster Bar


1969 ad from the Atlantic Va. "Cardinal" High School Yearbook

Our family from Delmar in the 1960s may have taken a long ride to the beach at Red Hills and had lunch or dinner at Sparrows Oyster Bar.  Red Hills was a very popular beach just south of Greenbackville, Virginia.  In the early 1900s sometimes as many as 3,000 people would be there for the day.  By the 1960s less than a hundred a day would be at the beach. 

Taking RT12 out of Snow Hill heading south once you crossed the Maryland Virginia line you would drive pass the road to Greenbackville and the next road to the left would be Red Hills Road (Va RT712), at the end of the road the road makes a fork keeping straight down a dirt road takes you to Red Hills, bending left takes you to Sinnickson and the road ends at the small boat harbor on Swans Gut Creek (across the creek is Captain Cove).  Sparrows was on the road (bay side) to the harbor.  It was a converted two story house.  It had a menu of seafood and basic comfort food and was a  small place with booths, very casual.   Sparrows was run by Leon Clifton Sparrow and his wife, Dessie Marie Culp Sparrow. Leon was a very distant relative to George W Sparrow who came to live in Delmar.  In 1974 Dessie passed  away and I am not sure if that ended Sparrows Oyster Bar or if some other event did so.  The building it was in has vanished, some one said a storm knocked it down.   

Red Hills was purchased in 1886 by R D Sinnickson and much later by C D Fleming, a major lumberman, purchased it and with his passing it was owned by his son, Toppy Fleming.  

Certainly the authority on Red Hills would be Bob Jones who has the facebook page "Worc. Co. History"  The photo of Red Hills (about 1911)  below is from one of many articles he has written about Red Hills.

Since we are on the subject of seafood and that side of Delmarva let me include a recipe from the beloved Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore, Wm Donald Schaefer, the man who called the Eastern Shore of Maryland an outhouse.  

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