Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

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Ocean City’s motel industry developed in the mid-1950s following the openings of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the desire of young families for lodging that was casual, inexpensive and that offered easy on-site parking. Within a decade, the vacant land between 15th and 33rd streets became known as “Motel Row.”

Motel Row grew from a few initial motels — the Sea Scape (1954), the Surf and Sands (1955), the Santa Maria (1956) and the Stowaway (1956) — to over two dozen by 1965. In the 1960s, everyone wanted to stay on “the row.”

The growth of the population in that area also enhanced the customer base of the restaurant industry and such storied restaurants as Mario’s, Phillips Crab House, the Captain’s Table and The Embers became household names during that era. Ocean City had entered a new and exciting period in its history.

1965 postcard image courtesy of Bunk Mann

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

There have been some unique advertising devices that have called attention to Ocean City’s attractions over the years. Some of today’s most popular include Ripley’s shark in the pier building on Wicomico Street, the big pirate at Jolly Roger Amusement Park and the Batmobile parking beside Ocean Gallery on 2nd Street. One of the most famous landmarks was the giant … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

The Paddock was one of Ocean City’s most popular nightclubs for 60 years. Built by Gabby Mancini, Sr. on the corner of 18th Street and Philadelphia Avenue in 1953, it featured live entertainment. The Saturday afternoon jam sessions were legendary and drew crowds to what in that era was considered “way up the beach.” The original building was partially destroyed … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

Local kids used to earn spending money for the pinball arcades and Boardwalk rides by selling seashells on the Boardwalk. Conch shells were the best sellers and were found on Assateague before the Verrazano Bridge made public access to the island easy in 1962. Comic books, handmade jewelry and “shark strings,” which were woven string ankle bracelets that claimed to … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

This week marks the 85th Anniversary of the 1930 opening of Ocean City’s famous Commander Hotel. Built by Minnie Brittingham Lynch, her son John and his wife Ruth, the Commander was the northernmost Boardwalk hotel for over two decades. The original building (pictured in 1934) contained 62 rooms and boasted the first elevator in Ocean City. A second wing was … Continue reading