Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann – December 31, 2021

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann – December 31, 2021

In the early 1950s developer Leon Ackerman attempted to establish a community named Ocean Beach on Assateague Island. Fifteen miles of oceanfront property was surveyed with residential and commercial lots laid out. A paved road called Baltimore Boulevard (parts of which still exist today) ran down the center of the development about 10 miles south of Ocean City.

Initial sales were hampered by the lack of sewer and water, flies and the problem of easy access to Assateague. There was no bridge at the time and the ferry from the mainland could only carry three cars per trip.

Ackerman continued to promote his venture and by the fall of 1961 several thousand lots had been sold with 30 houses built or under construction. Ocean Beach was becoming a reality when disaster struck. On March 6, 1962 a Nor’easter, known to history as the Ash Wednesday Storm, destroyed most of what had been built along with much of the infrastructure. It brought a sudden and permanent end to Ocean Beach.

Today the Assateague Island National Seashore covers the site of the vanished Ocean Beach development.

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Photo courtesy Ocean City Lifesaving Station Museum