ISLAND LIVING AT ONE OF AMERICA'S FINEST RESORTS
Ocean City is Maryland's only coastal community, situated on a barrier island that, until the mid-1800s, was a barren place attracting only a few fishermen who came over from the mainland on small row boats. In 1869, a local farmer named Isaac Coffin constructed a small inn to accommodate the fishermen and others who were beginning to show an interest in the beach as a refuge from city life. Soon, other hotel properties arose and after Ocean City became incorporated in 1875, the small fishing village was on its way to becoming a seaside vacation destination.
In 1876, a railroad bridge was built over the Sinepuxent Bay. Prior to the bridge, visitors had to ride the train to the edge of the mainland where they would then cross the bay by boat. Visitors would travel hours to spend one idyllic afternoon at the seashore.
In the early 1900s, Daniel B. Trimper and his brother, both from Baltimore, started an amusement park. The park is still owned and operated by the Trimper family. Capt. Christopher Ludlum and his son traveled from Cape May, NJ, and started the pound fishing industry, the source of employment for many local men. While the men fished, their wives and mothers were instrumental in running the hotels that catered to vacationers.
The oldest part of Ocean City is at the southernmost tip of the island. As you meander the area below Division Street, look up, above the shops at street level. Cottages and small hotels still proudly reflect the strong heritage of the early pioneers of this town. For decades this was the hub of the resort. From about 9th Street north, there were only a few lone cottages.
From 1900 to 1915, the first of Ocean City's Boardwalk was constructed. In the early days, the Boardwalk was taken up and stored during the winter. Today's Boardwalk is a permanent walkway now spanning nearly three miles.
In August 1933, a violent four-day storm hit Ocean City and cut an inlet through the island, linking the ocean with the bay. The inlet soon brought a new industry to Ocean City – sport fishing. With easy access to the ocean, fishermen no longer had to launch boats through the surf or limit themselves to bay fishing. In 1934, the first white marlin was caught off the coast and Ocean City claimed the title of "White Marlin Capital of the World."
This once humble fishing village that covered only a few blocks of land now stretches over 10 miles long. Modern hotels and deluxe condominiums are now a part of the landscape, but what draws visitors to our shore all year long has not changed. The invigorating smell of the salt air… The majestic vista of the ocean… The luxuriating feel of the sand...