Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann – February 18, 2022

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann – February 18, 2022

In 1869 Isaac Coffin opened a lodge on the beach in the area of today’s S. 1st Street and Boardwalk. Known as the Rhode Island Inn (and later the Ocean House), it catered to hunters and fishermen on the remote barrier island of what would become Ocean City.

The property would be sold to Philadelphia native William Selby in 1880 who renamed it Congress Hall and added a three-story addition increasing the size of the hotel to 110 rooms. He also enlarged the dining room which featured a menu of oysters, crabs, fresh fish, and terrapin. Rooms rented from $10 to $12.50 a week and advertised an ocean view from all parts of the property.

Congress Hall was badly damaged in the hurricane of 1903 and never regained the prominence of its first two decades. After several ownership and name changes, the once popular hotel was lost to a fire on May 17, 1924.

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Image courtesy of the Ocean City Life Saving Station Museum