Phillips Crab House began as a small seafood carryout on the corner of Philadelphia Avenue and 21st Street in 1956 and quickly expanded to become one of Ocean City’s most popular restaurants.
There was no more prestigious summer job for a girl in the 1960s and early 1970s than to be a waitress at Phillips. The prospective servers were handpicked — often by Shirley Phillips herself — and had to be smart and personable as well as having “girl-next-door” good looks. There were no waiters in those years but many young men worked in the kitchen and as busboys — in part to be around so many pretty girls.
The tips earned at Phillips helped pay many college tuitions and today the tradition continues. Phillips Crab House has been a destination for summer visitors for nearly 60 years.
Photo from 1972 courtesy of Jimmy Capati
The original Morbid Manor was the ultimate “haunted house” with live actors portraying ghosts, goblins and ghouls of all shapes and sizes. It even featured a plane crash on the third floor of the spooky building located on the Fishing Pier at Wicomico Street and the beach. The screams of frightened visitors could be heard on the Boardwalk and across … Continue reading
The Midnight Football League was a popular activity for Ocean City’s summer workers in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Young men from local establishments, such as Phillips Crab House, Frontier Town, the Ocean City Police Department and The Embers, played a rough and tumble brand of touch football for glory, beer and bragging rights. Held on Holland Island … Continue reading
For nearly 40 years, Dale’s Esso Center was the first thing people saw when entering Ocean City. The gas station at the foot of the Route 50 Bridge was one of just a handful of local businesses to stay open year-round in the 1940s and 1950s. William Dale started the business in 1941 but it was taken over by his … Continue reading
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge has done more to boost tourism than any oth-er factor in Ocean City’s history. Opened on July 30, 1952, the Bay Bridge replaced the antiquated ferry system across the Chesapeake Bay and provided quick and easy access from the Western Shore for those visiting Ocean City. The town’s summer population doubled followed the opening of the … Continue reading
Rolling chairs were a familiar sight in Ocean City in 1920s and 1930s and were an early version of today’s Boardwalk tram. Many college students helped pay their tuition by pushing tourists up and down the Boardwalk in those wicker chairs on wheels. Rolling chairs originated in Atlantic City, N.J. and quickly made their way south. Dr. Francis Townsend, Sr. … Continue reading
Spiro Agnew, the 39th vice president of the United States under Richard Nixon, was a frequent visitor to Ocean City for over three decades. He maintained a second home in the resort for many years. In the year following his forced resignation from office, Agnew could be seen playing tennis on the local courts or dining with friends in Ocean … Continue reading
Ocean City looked much different in this aerial photo taken in 1946 between 14th and 15th streets. The large building in the center was the original Commander Hotel before its second wing was added and the vacant space to its left is today the site of the Beach Plaza Hotel and its adjoining parking lot. The building to the left … Continue reading
Fashions in the 1890′s and early 1900′s were far more formal than what can be seen in Ocean City today. In that era, people dressed up to stroll on the Boardwalk. Men wore hats and suits — or at least a coat and tie — and women wore long skirts, fancy hats and long sleeved blouses. Many of the ladies … Continue reading
The Seaview was constructed in the World War I era on the Boardwalk between 3rd and 4th streets. More of a boarding house than a full service hotel, the Seaview offered both rooms and apartments to summer guests. The frame three-story building was built on pilings and survived many storms including the famous March Storm of 1962. The Seaview was … Continue reading