West Ocean City has changed noticeably in the years since World War II. The unincorporated area on the mainland west of the Route 50 Bridge where today new motels, restaurants and shopping malls appear to expand on a daily basis was once a land of farms, produce stands, and a few small rental cabins.
The Route 50 Bridge opened in 1942; prior to that the entrance to Ocean City was down Route 707, a single lane in each direction from Herring Creek to the original automobile bridge that crossed the Sinepuxent Bay at Worcester Street.
The first motel on Route 50 — the Alamo Court — opened in 1946 (it was recently renovated and is still there today). Prior to that a few cabins, such as the ones pictured above, provided housing needs for tourists who chose not to stay in the more expensive Boardwalk hotels or the numerous boarding houses and apartments at the beach. The areas where Walmart, the White Marlin Mall and the Tanger Outlets are located were all farmland in those days and the million dollar homes along Martha’s Landing were once shanties and wetlands in a section known as Stinky Beach.
If a time-traveler from the 1940’s were to return today, they would not
recognize West Ocean City.
Postcard photo from Bunk Mann’s Collection