A popular form of fishing that is affordable for the average fisherman is on a party boat or “head boat” (so-called because there is a flat charge per angler or “per head.”) These boats provide rods, reels and bait and a mate to untangle lines and help bring fish aboard.
One of the most famous was the “Question Mark,” which sailed from the dock at Wicomico Street beginning in 1951 captained by Gordon S. Patton. The “Question Mark” was the former Navy PT-139, which had been launched in September 1942 and assigned to the Motor Torpedo Squadron in Mellville, R.I. as part of the Navy’s training squadron.
As a party boat, the 80-foot long craft made two trips daily offshore at a cost of $4 “per head” and an evening cruise along the beachfront at twilight.
The “Question Mark” sand in the West Ocean City harbor in 1973 and now rests offshore in the Atlantic Ocean as part of an artificial reef.
Postcard from Bunk Mann’s collection
The George Washington Hotel opened in June 1931 on the corner of 10th Street and the Boardwalk in what was then the northern section of Ocean City. At the time of construction, it was the tallest building in town and would remain so until 1970 when the High Point South condominium was built far up the beach on the Gold … Continue reading
Ocean City’s original Pier building was completed in 1907 on the Boardwalk at Wicomico Street. In addition to shops and a dancing pavilion, it also featured a theatre and several refreshment stands. It was also the entrance to the Ocean City Fishing Pier. The building was raised 10 feet above the beach and built on wooden pilings. Part of it … Continue reading
The Plimhimmon was built in 1894 by Rosalie Tilghman Shreve. Located on the Boardwalk between 1st and 2nd streets, it was considered one of Ocean City’s finest hotels of that era. Noted for an excellent dining room, the Plimhimmon catered to an upscale clientele and in the years prior to World War I was famous for its dancing pavilion where … Continue reading
The Dinner Bell was a popular Ocean City restaurant in the years following World War II. Located on the southeast corner of 3rd Street and Baltimore Avenue in the Monticello Hotel, it served homestyle cooking with an Eastern Shore flavor. Many still remember their delicious fresh baked rolls and fried chicken. The waitresses lived in a dormitory style room at … Continue reading
This historic picture depicts the birth of the current Inlet in August of 1933. The railroad tracks are visible as are the fish camps where the pound fishermen lived and worked prior to the Aug. 23 hurricane, which occurred prior to storms being named. Although the town suffered some serious property damage, there were no fatalities and the storm turned … Continue reading
The Shore Drive-In opened in 1954 three miles west of Ocean City on Route 50. The large screen was visible from the highway and the parking area could hold up to 500 cars. One of Ocean City’s most popular attractions, there are few locals who don’t remember watching movies under the stars at the Shore Drive-In Theatre (or trying to … Continue reading
This 1912 photo shows pound fishermen on the beach in Ocean City. The horse helped pull the boat up on the beach and took baskets of fish netted offshore to the railroad spur that ran south from S. Division Street. A rough and dangerous job, pound fishing required the men to row through the surf as the boats were launched … Continue reading
Baltimore Avenue was Ocean City’s “Main Street” when this postcard was printed circa 1920. This view looks north from Wicomico Street and includes some of the town’s most historic structures. The building in the left foreground is the Seaside Hotel (built in 1876) and beyond it with the tall brick smokestack is the electric power plant. In the right foreground … Continue reading
Ocean City has suffered many devastating fires in its history, but none worse than “The Great Fire of 1925.” The fire began in the Power Plant on Baltimore Avenue around 7:30 a.m. and spread through several blocks of the downtown area on De. 29. The severe cold made firefighting difficult and water was drafted from holes cut in the ice … Continue reading