The Hamilton Hotel, a 68-year-old Ocean City landmark on the corner of 3rd Street and the Boardwalk, burned to the ground on Dec. 14, 1969.
The early Sunday morning blaze was discovered by Sergeant James Baker of the Ocean City Police Department as he made his rounds. The fire department was on the scene about five minutes later. With flames up to 100 feet in the air and fanned by a strong southwest wind, it appeared the whole block between 3rd and 4th streets was at risk. Sparks from the fire were landing as far north as 9th Street. Mutual aid from Berlin arrived and joined the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company in finally controlling the blaze three hours after it began.
The Hamilton was in ruins but the firefighters had saved the rest of the block. The good news was the hotel was closed for the winter and thus unoccupied. No lives were lost or serious injuries suffered. The cause of the fire was determined to be arson.
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Photo courtesy of the Ocean City Fire Department