A permanent Boardwalk was constructed in 1892 and extended for eight blocks along the oceanfront. Styles were more formal in the 1890s and 1900s — men in suits and ties and ladies in long dresses and big hats were normal attire for strolling the early Boardwalk in Ocean City.
Both the Boardwalk and beach were narrow in this circa 1904 view of S. Division Street. On high tide, waves would come up close to the Boardwalk and the streets — all of which were unpaved in that era.
Ocean City’s first restaurant can be seen in the background on the left of the photo. Opened by George Conner in 1892 and known as “Conners,” it provided food and drinks to the excursionists who took the railroad to spend an afternoon at the beach. It is likely the people pictured above were part of one of these popular railroad excursions. The descendants of George Conner are still in Ocean City’s hospitality industry today.
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Photo courtesy Clifford Dypsky