Life-Saving Station clambake putting a fresh focus on history

The surfmen who lived and worked at the Indian River Life Saving Station 140 years ago might not have enjoyed the best cuisine — often living on canned, rather than fresh, foods — but visitors to the station have a chance to enjoy a feast that includes the best things the surfmen had available to them.

“They ate a lot of canned food,” said Laura Scharle, interpretive program manager at the life-saving station, located just north of the Indian River Inlet. However, she said, “It was pretty common for them to go crabbing or clamming” to supplement the other foods that were offered to them while stationed at Indian River.

On Wednesday, July 24, the station is hosting a clambake, at which seafood specialties will be cooked on the grounds outside the historic buildings. Scharle said organizers of the clambake wanted to create an event that combined delicious local specialties with a historical twist.

“We wanted to create something that was fun, as well as educational,” she said.

During the clambake, which costs $55 for adults or $35 for those younger than 21, diners will have the chance to tour the life-saving station, in addition to partaking in a feast prepared on the premises by the Blue Moon restaurant of Rehoboth Beach.

The dinner includes shellfish, as well as vegetables and other delicacies prepared in traditional “clambake” style. Beer and wine are included in the price of adult tickets.

“They will get an amazing meal,” Scharle said.

There will also be a representative from the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ on hand to talk about the CIB’s “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” campaign and to offer information on aquaculture efforts in general, Scharle said.

Reservations for the clambake are required by July 16 and can be made by calling (302) 227-6991.


By Kerin Magill

Staff Reporter