An Ocean City landmark formally recognized.

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City landmark and a lasting tribute
to a different era in the resort was formally recognized yesterday with an
unveiling of a sign celebrating its importance to area history.

The old Henry Hotel, a late 19th century
building on the corner of Baltimore Ave. and South Division Street, for nearly
a century served as the resort’s “colored only” hotel in a less tolerant and
enlightened era. During the 1930s and 40s, the historic hotel hosted
African-American icons such as Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong when they were
allowed to play in the grand hotels along the Boardwalk but not allowed to stay
in them.

A sign marking the hotel’s place in history and signaling
an effort by town and county officials to preserve it was officially unveiled
during a brief ceremony yesterday morning. The family has owned the hotel for
more than a half a century will preserve the hotel as a bed and breakfast with
some of the space dedicated to student housing and some of it dedicated to a
museum.

County Commission President James Purnell fondly recalled
coming to the historic hotel as a child. “This brings back a lot of memories,”
he said. “It’s a good thing this building will still be standing for future
generations.”

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan echoed the sentiments.

“This should stand as a reminder of how far we’ve come in
Ocean City,” he said.”