Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

vanishing 2-13

Ocean City in 1915 was a small village with about 600 residents. Most of the men worked as commercial fishermen or on the railroad while the women managed the hotels and boarding houses. The tourist season ran from mid-June to Labor Day and there was no off-season. The hotels closed after Labor Day and the tourists went home — most of them on the railroad that crossed the bay at South Division Street.

The city limits stretched from S. 7th Street (where the Inlet is now) to 15th Street and streets north of 3rd Street were unpaved. The Boardwalk was narrow and raised several feet above the beach. On stormy days, waves rolled under it. There was no Thrasher’s Fries, Alaska Stand or Dumser’s in 1915 and no pizza parlors or T-shirt shops on the Boardwalk.

Because the Inlet did not exist until 1933, Assateague ponies would wonder into Ocean City in search of food. There were no motels, no Beach Patrol, no miniature golf courses and no condominiums — the word did not exist in 1915.

Postcard from Bunk Mann’s collection

 

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

Many young Ocean City boys got their start in business selling newspapers in the years before CNN, Fox News and the Internet brought instant reporting to anyone with a television or smart phone. The cry of newsboys hawking their paper is a favorite memory of that long-age era. Baltimore papers, such as The Sun and the News-American, and Washington papers, … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

The original Morbid Manor was the ultimate “haunted house” with live actors portraying ghosts, goblins and ghouls of all shapes and sizes. It even featured a plane crash on the third floor of the spooky building located on the Fishing Pier at Wicomico Street and the beach. The screams of frightened visitors could be heard on the Boardwalk and across … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

The Midnight Football League was a popular activity for Ocean City’s summer workers in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Young men from local establishments, such as Phillips Crab House, Frontier Town, the Ocean City Police Department and The Embers, played a rough and tumble brand of touch football for glory, beer and bragging rights. Held on Holland Island … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge has done more to boost tourism than any oth-er factor in Ocean City’s history. Opened on July 30, 1952, the Bay Bridge replaced the antiquated ferry system across the Chesapeake Bay and provided quick and easy access from the Western Shore for those visiting Ocean City. The town’s summer population doubled followed the opening of the … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

Rolling chairs were a familiar sight in Ocean City in 1920s and 1930s and were an early version of today’s Boardwalk tram. Many college students helped pay their tuition by pushing tourists up and down the Boardwalk in those wicker chairs on wheels. Rolling chairs originated in Atlantic City, N.J. and quickly made their way south. Dr. Francis Townsend, Sr. … Continue reading