The Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) in the years following World War II was small but adequate for what was then a seasonal town only 25 blocks long. There was just one police car prior to 1953 and police headquarters shared a building with City Hall on Dorchester Street.
The police force was augmented for the summer season with its ranks doubled between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Many of the part-time officers were retired cops from Baltimore or school teachers on summer break. Training by today’s standards was minimal but there was little crime and less traffic. The OCPD would remain small until a Labor Day Weekend riot in the early 1960s and the expansion of city limits to the Delaware line proved the need for change.
Today’s OCPD is one of the largest and best trained in the state.
This circa 1915 photo is of the George Conner family, pioneers in Ocean City’s hotel and restaurant industry. George Conner (1874-1916) opened Ocean City’s first restaurant on the Boardwalk at S. Division Street in 1892; his wife, Willye Jones Conner (1886-1971) — known to later generations as Willye Conner Ludlam — purchased the Hastings Hotel in 1922. Still active in … Continue reading
When a firefighter dies, it is said that “he has answered his last alarm.” Charles Elliott passed away on Oct. 22, 2008 and Engine 8, the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company’s antique parade piece (a 1953 Ford/American) was draped in black and placed on the ramp at the 15th Street fire headquarters. Less than a week later on Oct. 27, … Continue reading
In a precursor to American involvement in World War II, the Norwegian freighter “Olaf Bergh” ran aground about 60 yards off the beach at 94th Street on March 7, 1941. The ship was hugging the coastline to avoid German submarines that were lurking offshore. The U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Ocean City rescued the crew by means of a breeches … Continue reading
The Samoa and Mario’s were two of Ocean City’s most popular restaurants in the late 1960s. Located in Philadelphia Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets, the Samoa moved two blocks north in 1969 and is now the location of a Sunsations store. Mario’s was a favorite of Ocean City’s locals and stayed open year-round serving some of the resort’s best … Continue reading
The Alamo Court was the first motel in Worcester County. Bill Weaver, a former World War II fighter pilot, bought two acres along the then new Route 50 entrance to Ocean City in 1946 and hired contractor Ridge Harman, Sr. to build a 40-unit motel. Weaver had been stationed in San Antonio, Texas during his Army Air Force training and … Continue reading
Ocean City’s 9th Street was the big hangout for the college-age crowd during the 1950s and 1960s. One of the major attractions was the Beach Club where live bands provided a party atmosphere and beer flowed freely. Next door, Tom Shill’s Hamburger Heaven served hot dogs, burgers and fries and had a unique machine that rolled out perfectly formed hamburger … Continue reading
The Ocean City Fishing Pier is under construction circa 1906 in this photo but the pier building has not been built. Work began in 1904 and was completed in time for the 1907 season. The original permanent Boardwalk can also be seen; it was narrow and raised above the sand. On hot days, bathers would sit under it and seek … Continue reading
The year 1896 is an important date in the history of Ocean City for it marked the beginning of the commercial fishing industry and changed a small seasonal resort to a year-round town. Captain Christopher Ludlam brought a crew of fishermen from Cape May, N.J. and began pound fishing off the coast of Ocean City in the spring of 1896. … Continue reading
The development of Ocean Pines by the Boise Cascade Corporation began in 1968 and continued at a rapid pace throughout the 1970s. In the early years, there was no Route 90 bridge and unique marketing strategies to sell lots “in the middle of nowhere” included Hawaiian Luaus, a private clubhouse and pool on the beach at 48th Street and transportation … Continue reading