Prior to the mid-1970s, Ocean City was a seasonal resort. The tourist season ran from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day and it was said, “you could fire a cannon down Baltimore Avenue the day after Labor Day and not hit a soul.” Less than 900 people lived in town year-round.
This aerial photo from the spring of 1955 shows a mostly vacant town with the Oceanic Motel down by the Inlet in the final stages of construction. The large dark building in the upper left is the Atlantic Hotel and the Inlet Lodge can be seen on the far right. The building facing the Boardwalk with the cupola still houses Trimper’s beautiful 1912 carousel and popular kiddie rides, but the Tidal Wave Roller Coaster was still 30 years in the future.
The Inlet Parking Lot was in its infancy and was only two lanes deep along a much more narrow beach.
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