Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Looking to Reopen "Factory F" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Looking to Reopen "Factory F"

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The inside of Factory F at the old Phillips Packing Plant (Photo:WBOC) The inside of Factory F at the old Phillips Packing Plant (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.-  In the first half of the 20th century, a large part of Dorchester County's economy was driven by one name - Phillips.  The Phillips Packing Company in Cambridge employed thousands.  But after World War 2, the company was bought and later dissolved.  Although the company may be long gone, jobs could soon return to one of the old packing plant buildings.

Most may not recognize the inside of the factory, but the outside on Dorchester Avenue, that's the building everyone recognizes.  Locals say the packing plant was once important to the community.

"It supplied a lot of jobs for people here.  Also it helped the farmers because a lot of their things were canned there," said Joan Woodward.

Descendents of the Phillips say the business was run for the community.

"They knew everybody that worked for them.  They were constantly walking through the plants.  They had no problem rolling up their white sleeves and sticking their arms into a vat you know?" said Cindy Horney.

After World War 2, the business was bought and eventually the smokestacks stopped belching smoke.  The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, who has plans to build a park next door, is now turning their sights to Factory F.

"When you're bringing people to a park, and you want it to be a central hub of activity, and you have an adjacent deteriorating building, it doesn't help promote what they are trying to accomplish in the park," said Katie Parks with ESLC.

"We're exploring the economic viability of relaunching the Phillips building as a food and farm exchange.  Different food options including community kitchen incubator, food processing facility, possible restaurant and market space," said Parks.

"This is going to be exciting for myself and the other family members to see this come back again, and for someone to recognize what actually happened," said Horney.

There is no timeline on when this work will be done and the building will be fitted out the way it should be.   The pricetag is known, around $20 million.  With that investment, this building will once again be home to jobs here in Cambridge.

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