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 building was demolished in April 2008.
A new “state of the art” library opened the same year at 100th Street and Coastal Highway with the ability to serve Ocean City’s residents and visitors far into the future.
Photo by Bunk Mann
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
The English Diner opened in 1939 on the corner of Wicomico Street and Baltimore Avenue. Moved to 21st Street and Philadelphia Avenue in the last 1950s, it was one of Ocean City’s most popular family restaurants. It was known as “Little City Hall” for the daily breakfast gatherings of Ocean City’s political elite during the years that Hugh Cropper, Harry … Continue reading
The Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) served the town with great distinction during the summer of 1942-45. With most men over the age of 18 in the service, the OCBP relied on young men aged 15 to 17 to protect the beaches. It is a proud footnote to the history of Ocean City that no drownings were recorded on a … Continue reading
Much of the bayside was still undeveloped in this aerial view of 53rd to 54th streets in the mid-1970s. Boulden’s Marina — today the site of Beach World, Chauncey’s Surf-O-Rama and Bayside Rentals — is in the center of the photo while the large grassy area is now occupied by the San Remo Condominium. The small island in the background … Continue reading
A three-alarm fire that began around 6 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2002 destroyed Hooper’s Crab House. Firefighters from Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Berlin fought the blaze for over 10 hours at the West Ocean City restaurant. Damages were estimated in excess of $1 million. Water supply was a problem there were no fire hydrants in the area at this … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading