Ocean City dates its “official” birthday to July 4, 1875, the day the original Atlantic Hotel opened on what was then a remote barrier island. There was no bridge from the mainland that first year and the only way to reach the new hotel was by boat.
There was no Boardwalk at that time nor were there any stores, arcades, or
amusement parks. The first permanent Boardwalk would not be constructed until 1885; built on pilings two feet above the sand; it was just ten blocks long.
A temporary boardwalk of sorts had existed since 1879 but had been strictly seasonal in nature. Consisting of sections of planks tied together with rope, it was rolled up and stored during summer storms and over the off-season. In the photo above (circa 1881) three ladies sit beside that original makeshift Boardwalk.
Today a modern Ocean City Boardwalk stretches 2.9 miles in length from the Inlet to 27th Street.
To purchase one of Bunk Mann’s books, click over to www.vanishingoc.com.