The building known today as City Hall served as Ocean City High School beginning in 1917. Its first graduating class had only seven students — proof that Ocean City was indeed a small town in those days.
The first school bus was built by Hugh T. Cropper Sr. on a used Ford Model-T chassis in 1912. He would drive students to school from West Ocean City and back for over 20 years.
New teachers received a salary of $950 annually in 1924. They were expected to live in the town in which they taught, attend church on a regular basis and keep any political opinions to themselves. Corporal punishment for disruptive students was allowed (and looked on with favor) in that era.
Eight new classrooms were added to the building in 1929 and the elementary school began sharing the 3rd Street location with the high school. This would continue until Ocean City High merged with Berlin’s Buckingham High to form Stephen Decatur High School in 1954. The elementary students would remain in the old building until a new school opened in West Ocean City about 11 years later.
Postcard from Bunk Mann’s collection