Ocean City’s first hotel was built by the Atlantic Hotel Company on the beach between Wicomico and Somerset streets. There was no bridge from the mainland at that time so all construction materials were floated across the Sinepuxent Bay on flat bottom scows and small boats. The grand opening of the Atlantic Hotel on July 4, 1875 is considered to be the founding date of Ocean City.
The hotel was built on pilings above the sand and contained 112 bedrooms. Guests slept in rooms that would be considered small by today’s standards and there was no electricity or indoor plumbing. In spite of this the Atlantic Hotel was an imposing structure for its time. The original Atlantic Hotel burned to the ground on Dec. 29, 1925 but was rebuilt and continues to rent rooms to summer visitors today.
Postcard image from 1906 courtesy of Bunk Mann’s collection