The Pier Ballroom was Ocean City’s most popular teenage hangout in the 1960s. Located on top of the Pier building at Wicomico Street and the Boardwalk, DJ-hosted record hops brought the “under 21 crowd” to Ocean City on a nightly basis.
Live entertainment was featured at times and acts such as Chuck Berry, Little Eva, Joey Dee and the Starliters (minus Joey Dee) and the Lafayettes appeared on the Ballroom stage.
The Pier Ballroom closed on July 12, 1973. It could no longer compete with the many nightclubs that had sprung up as Ocean City had grown. The location had several tenants including a wax museum and laser tag before becoming the home of Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the mid-1990s.
Photo courtesy Wayne Cannon
The Surf and Sands was one of the first motels on the beachfront strip that became known as “Motel Row.” Built by Dirk and Roda Quillin, it stretched from 22nd to 23rd streets along the Boardwalk and opened Memorial Day weekend in 1955. The original motel was two stories high and featured the first kidney-shaped swimming pool in Ocean City. … Continue reading
Shantytown Village was developed by Daniel Trimper IV and opened in 1976 next to the Route 50 Bridge in West Ocean City. It was designed to resemble a New England fishing village and was modeled on photos taken by Trimper during a visit to Nantucket Island. It was a popular attraction for Ocean City’s visitors and people came to eat … Continue reading
The railroad brought tourists to Ocean City in the early part of the 20th Century and excursion trains made daily trips bringing hundreds of people to town each day. These folks would stroll the Boardwalk while some would rent bathing suits and spend a few hours on the beach. There was no Ocean City Beach Patrol in those days and … Continue reading
In April 2013, the Mayor and City Council, acting on a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Committee, decided to get rid of the five wooden beach toys that had delighted kids for nearly 20 years. The playground-style toys had been donated by local business owners and placed on the beach each summer. They consisted of a pirate ship, a … Continue reading
Ocean City was a seasonal town (Memorial Day to Labor Day) and didn’t get a full-time library until the mid-1960s. The Ocean City branch of the Worcester County Library opened in July 1966 on the corner of 14th Street and Philadelphia Avenue. It served the community for over 40 years but had outgrown its cramped space by the time the … Continue reading
The Belmont was a landmark on Dorchester Street with its distinctive green and yellow façade for many years. Located just a few steps off the Boardwalk, it had been built by Lambert Ayres in 1897. Lizzie Hearne bought the hotel in 1902 and she and her descendants ran it and later its attached sister hotel, the Hearne, for over 100 … Continue reading
The Misty Harbor began a life as a one-story motel known as the “New Beach Motel” in the early 1950s. Located at 2501 Philadelphia Avenue, the motel was sold to Ocean City Mayor Hugh Thomas Cropper in 1964. The name was changed to the “Misty Harbor” for the 1965 season and a second floor was later added. A popular motel … Continue reading
Surf mats were popular until boogie boards took over in the late 1970s and many a “baby boomer” learned to the ride the waves on the canvas-covered inflatables. Called “rafts” by the tourists, the locals always referred to them as “surf mats.” Many became quite adept at riding them while kneeling or, in rare cases, even standing up. The commercial … Continue reading
Two organizations that have had a positive impact on sport fishing in this area are the Ocean City Marlin Club and the Ocean City Light Tackle Club, pictured above at the Dorchester Street dock circa 1955. In 1938, there had been 781 white marlin reported caught offshore and in 1939 a total of 1,258 — with no record of any … Continue reading