The Town of Ocean City was incorporated by the Maryland General Assembly on April 12, 1880. It included the land between N. Division Street and S. Division Street plus property on the south side including the vicinity of today’s Inlet. The Inlet did not exist at this time; it would be created during a storm in August 1933.
Ocean City had fewer than 100 year-round residents in those days, most of whom were employees of the railroad or the U.S. Life Saving Service. Tourism was seasonal and in its infancy.
The first permanent Boardwalk was constructed in 1885 on pilings above the beach. A temporary one had existed earlier but was built in sections that lay directly on the sand. It could be picked up and stored during storms and over the winter. In 1892, the Sinepuxent Beach Company extended the Boardwalk to a mile in length, installed electric power and dug a well for the town’s water supply.
The infrastructure was being assembled that would take Ocean City into the 20th Century.
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Postcard from Bunk Mann’s collection