Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann – March 17, 2023

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann – March 17, 2023
Postcard from Bunk Mann’s collection

Ocean City in 1946 was a much different town than the resort we know today. Both the city limits and the Boardwalk ended at 15th Street and fewer than 950 people lived there fulltime.

There was no Inlet Parking Lot, no Convention Center and no rides on the Pier. The tourist season ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day and most locals worked seven days a week without a day off all summer. Hotels of that era had no heating and were unable to stay open in the winter; from mid-September to the end of May Ocean City was almost a ghost town.

Slot machines were everywhere in 1946 and nearly every restaurant, bar, and hotel had at least one. The Plimhimmon was the town’s largest hotel and the Ship Cafe one of the most popular restaurants. Both would be lost to fires in later years. A room for two — with breakfast and dinner included — was $37.50 weekly at the Belmont Hotel on Dorchester Street.

In 1946 and into the early ’50’s, most stores in neighboring Berlin would close at noon on Wednesday so their employees could go to the beach.

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