The first bridge to carry automobile traffic into Ocean City was approved by the Maryland General Assembly in 1916 but did not officially open until July 4, 1919. Known to locals as the “State Roads Bridge,” it had a single lane in each direction. It crossed the Sinepuxent Bay at its most narrow point and entered Ocean City at Worcester Street in the center of the old downtown.
This bridge was damaged in the Hurricane of 1933 that destroyed the nearby railroad bridge and also created the Inlet. For the three days it took to repair the State Roads Bridge, no automobile traffic was able to enter or leave Ocean City except by the long and sand-covered route through Delaware. The photo above was taken four days after the hurricane in 1933.
The State Roads Bridge was replaced by the current Route 50 Bridge in 1942.
Photo courtesy Travis Langworthy
In the winter of 1893, Daniel B. Trimper arrived with his family from Baltimore and brought the first mechanical rides to Ocean City. His amusement complex would eventually include two hotels, game and food stands and numerous rides including a Ferris wheel. His first ride was a small hand-cranked carousel but within a few years he changed the Boardwalk forever … Continue reading
Postcards were a popular form of staying in touch with the folks back home in the days before cell phones and email made communication so easy. Many of the pictures that survive today of Ocean City in the early 20th Century were originally published as postcards. The comic postcard became popular during World War II and every gift shop along … Continue reading
Ocean City’s motel industry developed in the mid-1950s following the opening 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 … Continue reading
John Dale Showell, Jr. built Ocean City’s first swimming pool in 1917. Located on the Boardwalk between N. Division and Caroline streets, it was a salt water pool with water pumped in from the ocean. Showell charged 25 cents to swim in the pool and cleaned it once a week, refilling it at night. The beach was very narrow in … Continue reading
The Breakers Hotel was built circa 1904 on the southwest corner of 3rd Street and the Boardwalk and at the time was one of the northernmost hotels in Ocean City. The Breakers, like most of the hotels of the era, operated on the American Plan (meals included with room) and did so up into the early 1950s. At its peak, … Continue reading
The Saute Cafe was a popular restaurant in rapidly growing north Ocean City in the early 1980′s. Located at 123rd Street and Coastal Highway, the Saute Cafe had developed a loyal following among both locals and numerous condominium owners in that section of town. Tragedy struck on July 16, 1983 when a fire broke out shortly after 6 a.m. In … Continue reading
Eighty years ago, Ocean City’s Boardwalk extended from the Inlet to 15th Street, a total of 25 blocks. Beyond the Boardwalk was a nearly unbroken vista of sand dunes stretching north to the Delaware line. Today only one block on the entire Boardwalk retains the same buildings from that long ago pre-World War II era — the section between 10th … Continue reading
Fager’s Island was the first bar and restaurant on the bayside in what was then the growing midtown area of Ocean City in 1975. John Fager changed the look of the typical local bar scene by adding large glass windows and a magnificent view of the Assawoman Bay at sunset. He combined good music and fine food with a relaxed … Continue reading
The hurricane of Aug. 23, 1933, was the single most important event in the history of Ocean City. It created the Inlet, separated Assateague from Ocean City and ended the pound fishing and railroad eras forever. The creation of the Inlet made possible the commercial harbor and brought about the emergence of the sports fishing industry. Without the Inlet, today’s … Continue reading