Ocean City, MD

Ocean City, MD

While many Eastern Shore towns boast a lively history extending back to Colonial times, the story of Ocean City is more recent. Until the mid-1800s, the only visitors were fishermen arriving by rowboat. Things changed once a hotel opened on the barrier island. In fact, the July 4, 1875, opening of the Atlantic Hotel is regarded as Ocean City’s founding date. A new railroad bridge, built over the bay the following year, increased the number of visitors, and just after the turn of the century, the Trimper family opened an amusement park that still operates today. 

The fishing industry grew, and the fishermen’s wives started operating inns and hotels for visitors seeking refuge from city life at the beach. There was just one problem: Vacationers found it hard trudging through the sand. And so, in 1902, hotel owners laid out sections of wood–the original boardwalk–which had to be stored on their porches at high tide. Sportfishing came to town after a 1933 hurricane created an inlet linking the ocean and the bay. Soon after, the first white marlin was caught off the coast, leading to Ocean City’s moniker “White Marlin Capital of the World.”

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