The story of the Red Roost begins in the late 1940s when Frank Valentine constructed a chicken house of cinder block and oak. Chicken man Frank Perdue used to talk about getting his truck stuck out back when he delivered feed. The chicken house was abandoned in the early 1960s when a series of high tides drowned the last flocks that would reside there.
In 1971 Frank Palmer, a successful Hyattsville, Maryland car dealer, decided to move his family to the Delmarva Peninsula with the idea of going into the campground business. A pasture and a stand of pines were transformed into campsites and christened the Red Roost Campground. The old chicken house was converted into a recreation room and general store. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the 1973 Arab oil embargo sent gasoline prices soaring and kept a lot of campers and RV'ers close to home. All things considered, it looked like the campground was a little too far off the beaten path to attract much business.
With their life savings sunk into the Red Roost, Frank had to get a job selling business machines and his wife Peggy had to return to teaching to keep afloat. Since campers were few and far between, Frank decided to experiment with steaming crabs and fresh local corn. Soon a few West Side locals and neighbors from nearby towns started to stop in to sample the fare. It was steamed crabs, corn on the cob and their special recipe of fried chicken that started to catch on. So in 1974 they began calling it the Red Roost
Frequently Asked Questions
Places You Should Consider
Add to My Connections