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 later years, she built the Santa Maria Motel on 15th Street in 1956. George and Willye are pictured with their sons, George B. Conner, Jr., standing; John William Conner, being held; and Milton L. Conner, in his mother’s lap.
Milton’s wife, Thelma Conner, was the first woman elected to the City Council (1974). At the age of 74, she built the Dunes Manor Hotel on 28th Street. Descendants of George and Willye are active in Ocean City’s hospitality industry today.
Photo courtesy of the Conner family
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
Hugh Thomas Cropper, Jr. was appointed to serve out the term of Mayor Daniel Trimper, Jr., who had resigned on May 15, 1959 to join the Worcester County Commissioners. Cropper went on to win several elections and served as mayor throughout the 1960s. During the March Storm of 1962, he was instrumental in obtaining the state aid that rebuilt the … Continue reading