It’s hard to imagine that some simple paper tickets could bring back smells and tastes of seafood dinners from decades past, but try and tell yourself that as you see the eBay auctions for food tickets from Warwick’s Rocky Point Park.

Rocky Point was legendary in its day. In fact, even presidents liked to visit, and it was the site of the first presidential phone call in history.

The amusement park itself closed in 1994, but its gigantic Shore Dinner Hall wasn’t demolished until 20 years later, in 2014. It remained perched overlooking the ocean, the last bastion of what was once Southern New England’s favorite place to spend a summer day.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

“The World’s Largest Shore Dinner Hall” may have seemed like an odd boast to those who visited Rocky Point in its later years and saw mostly empty tables, but at one time that giant dining room was packed to the gills with people enjoying clam cakes, Manhattan-style (although some call it Rhode Island-style) red clam chowder, steamed lobsters and clams, fried clams and more.

We the people of Rhode Island want Rocky Point Park back! via Facebook
We the people of Rhode Island want Rocky Point Park back! via Facebook

It was family-style, which meant you and your party were seated at a long table, likely sitting next to or across from complete strangers, with everyone digging into the giant bowls of clam cakes, watermelon and tureens of chowder brought to the table at various intervals.

There were actually three different Shore Dinner Halls over the years at Rocky Point. The original was built in 1925, and was destroyed by the Hurricane of 1938.

The next Shore Dinner Hall wasn’t completed until 1949 – it took a decade of stops and starts to get it done – and then fell itself in 1954 thanks to Hurricane Carol.

In 1955, Rocky Point opened its final Shore Dinner Hall, this one built to withstand 200 mile per hour winds, even as it jutted farther out toward the ocean than previous incarnations. It was able to seat 4,000 people at a time, almost twice the capacity of the previous one, which held 2,500.

Rhode Island Memories via Facebook
Rhode Island Memories via Facebook

Think of the millions of clams, lobsters, slices of watermelon and gallons of chowder that must have passed through the Shore Dinner Hall over its different incarnations. Not only that, think about how many tickets were printed and sold to be able to come in, sit down and claim those meals.

Take a look at some of Rocky Point’s meals of the past with some food ticket photos.

Vintage Food Tickets for Sale From Warwick's Rocky Point Park

As much as everyone loved visiting Rocky Point Park in Warwick, Rhode Island for its fun rides and amusements, the food was also a major draw as well. From clam cakes and Manhattan clam chowder to complete shore dinners featuring steamed lobsters, you can still close your eyes and smell the deliciousness. We checked out some eBay ticket auctions for snacks gone by to remember Rocky Point's menu items.

20 Stars Who Hail From Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the nation, but it has been home to many celebrities. Though some have moved here, filmed here or attended school here, only a handful were actually born here. These are those celebrities.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420