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 to Ocean Pines by a double-decker London bus and a paddlewheel boat named the “Amy Ross.”
The paddlewheel was fake (an engine actually ran the boat) but the visual effect filled the boat with prospective buyers. The “Amy Ross” had a flat bottom — ideal for the shallow bay — and ferried passengers from a dock on 49th Street (where Seacrets is located today) to the Swim and Racquet Club in Ocean Pines. There an army of salesmen in leased Cadillacs would drive them around the fledgling development and make their sales pitch.
Most locals thought that Ocean Pines would never get off the ground. This year marks the community’s 50th year anniversary with a number of special events planned.
Photo courtesy Marlene Ott