Ocean City Historical Markers - Ocean City, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
N 38° 19.847 W 075° 05.111
18S E 492554 N 4242519
Quick Description: A series of historical markers in Ocean City that were created by an Eagle Scout.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 8/10/2021 3:28:41 PM
Waymark Code: WM14QHG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 1

Long Description:
The plaque say, "On what is now the corner of Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, Ocean City's Life-Saving Station was built in 1878 and sat at the once northern edge of Ocean City. The life-saving station was a part of the coastal system, established by the United States Treasury Department for the saving of vessels in distress and lives in peril upon the water.

The surfmen stationed at Ocean City became an integral part of the newly developing town. Heroic deeds of rescue earned them the respect of the community. The station saw so much activity that the federal government decided to build a new larger facility in 1891. Here on the Eastern Shore of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, in its first forty years of service, the United States Life-Saving Service, is credited with saving over 4,500 lives from the "perils of the sea."

The U.S. Life-saving service merged with the Revenue Cutter Service in January 1915 to form the modern day United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard actively used the building until 1964. A new station was built closer to the inlet and has been maintained in Ocean City to the present day.

The original station fell into a stat of disrepair and was scheduled for demolition in 1977. A group of concerned citizens formed the Ocean City Museum Society. With the generosity of the Mayor and City Council, funds were made available to save the building and move it to its present location on the southern end of the Boardwalk. The Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum welcomes visitors with self-guided tours and special programs for visitor of all ages."

The plaque says, "The original Ocean City Fishing Pier was financed and constructed by a number of local businessmen and community leaders. Work began in 1904 and after numerous delays was completed in time for the 1907 season. There wasn't an inlet in 1907, so the fishing pier was the only way that anglers could fish beyond the breakers. A small building at the end of the pier contained a roller skating rink. The main building on the Boardwalk featured shops, pool tables, a bowling alley and the famous ballroom.

The Great Fire of 1925 leveled the pier as well as a major portion of downtown Ocean City. It took nearly five years to rebuild, but by the 1930s, the pier Ballroom was the place to be. Over a 40 year period, the Pier Ballroom hosted many events including the Lifeguard Balls, the "Big Bands" from the WWII era, as well as record hops featuring Baltimore's famous DJ, Buddy Dean.

Another Ocean City Landmark was the Bandstand located on the Boardwalk at Somerset Street. Dr. Frank Townsend erected the bandstand at the encouragement of his neighbor and fellow business owner Frank Sacca. Mr. Sacca was an accomplished musician and led many of the concerts held there. Afterwards, the crowds who gathered dropped in for refreshments at Dr. Townsend's soda fountain. The Mayor and City Council were persuaded to add a band shell to the structure in 1949. However, after Mr. Sacca's death in 1955, the facility was gradually abandoned and became an eyesore. The city finally tore it down in 1969.

In the summer of 2014, the Mayor and City Council re-established a venue for free concerts and performances on the beach. Located on the east side of the Boardwalk Comfort Station, the Caroline Street Stage presents numerous events and activities thought the summer season."

The plaque says, "Few of the hundreds of thousands of vacationers today are aware that a railroad once played an important role in the growth of Ocean City, Maryland. The railroad era began in 1876 and lasted for 57 years; it was the primary form of transportation for the resort.

The Baltimore, Chesapeake, and Atlantic Railway entered the town at South Division Street and unloaded its passengers at the old depot on Baltimore Avenue at Somerset Street. In 1903, the depot was moved a block west to Philadelphia Avenue and enlarged. The current day Downtown Transit Bus Station located on this site is a replica of that train depot. In fact, the bricks marking this location are the actual bricks used at the original station on Philadelphia Avenue.

Railroad excursions were popular in the early 1900s and reached their peak in the WWI era when hundreds of passengers from as far away as Baltimore would make a "day-trip" to the beach. Passengers would leave Baltimore by steamship in the early morning and sail down the Chesapeake Bay to the village of Clairbourne in Talbot County. They would then transfer to the train and spend over three hot and smoky hours on the trip to the beach, picking up passengers at several towns across the Eastern Shore. Arriving at the beach around 1 p.m., the excursionists would spend three hours on the beach, swimming in the ocean, or walking on the Boardwalk until the train would leave around 4 p.m. for the long ride home.

It is likely that most of these visitors would have never seen Ocean City had it not been for the railroad. Many came back with their families in future years to spend a week or more at the town's hotels and boarding houses. The role of the railroad in the growth of Ocean City should never be overlooked or underestimated.

The railroad era ended abruptly on August 23, 1933 when a hurricane destroyed the railroad bridge, the fishing camps, and the tracks leading to the camps. Neither the bridge nor the tracks were ever repaired. The Baltimore, Chesapeake, and Atlantic Railway filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Railroad excursions were an important source of visitors for Ocean City right from the start. In the town's early days, Thursday was the big excursion day, when thousands of people from across the DelMarVa peninsula would flock to Ocean City for their time at the beach. Western shore residents typically arrived on Sunday for their "day trip.""
Name of Eagle Scout: William B. Rothermel

Project Completion Date: 3/1/2016

Troop Number: Troop 261

Troop Location: Ocean City, MD

Visit Instructions:
Provide a picture at the location of the Eagle Project and explain how the project has benefited you by it being placed here.
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