a lifeguard chair on an empty beach during a storm

It’s not unusual for Ocean City, MD to see a few hurricanes this time of year which usually cause beach erosion, forever changing our shoreline; however, the changes are generally small and imperceptible or fixed by the beach replenishment. Nonetheless, one storm in 1933 altered the geography and the town’s fate from a small fishing town that entertained a few visitors to the bustling resort town we know today that welcomes up to 8 million tourists yearly.

When the Atlantic Hotel opened its doors in 1875 and a railroad was built into the town from Berlin, the city started to grow, bringing in new resort attractions. The boardwalk was built in 1900, which was soon followed by the Ocean City landmark, Trimpers Amusements. The town’s growth continued as hotels welcomed more visitors, and more people purchased and developed property.

But Ocean City –still a fishing town– was limited by geography. At the time, Assateague Island was connected to Ocean City, and the calm bay, now used to launch boats, did not have an outlet to the Atlantic. This geography posed a problem for both local and visiting fishermen, as they had to drag their boats into the ocean from the beach using man and horsepower. Once making the strenuous journey through the sand, boaters would then have to launch their vessel into the rough surf. Many men lost their lives during these dangerous launches. Because of this problem, town officials requested federal and state help to create a man-made inlet, but their requests were denied.

But despite the denied request, the town got an inlet – albeit in an unconventional way.

Leading up to the devastating storm of 1933, the resort town had seen days and days of rain. The creeks and rivers were swelling from the onslaught of rain, and the hurricane only brought more rain. The flooding creeks and rivers emptied into the already rising bay. The strip of land that connected Ocean City to Assateague was no match for a swelling bay with nowhere to go. The waters rose over the banks. At first, it was only a small stream, but the raging water grew and grew, thus forming the inlet.

The late Charles Elliot, a West Ocean City resident, spoke about the stream turned raging inlet when the 70 year anniversary passed in 2003.

“When [Preacher Poole] got to the spot where the water was starting to breach the town, he got out and could just step over it,” said Elliot. “A short time later, when he returned from his house, the gap had widened to the point where he couldn’t get back across. It had gotten so wide so fast that he couldn’t even think of jumping across.”

Despite the destruction caused by the storm, many locals were excited about the new inlet. People gathered to watch the water swell, raging and churning as the pent-up bay rushed into the ocean. After the storm, the Army Corp of Engineers made the inlet permanent, shoring up the sandy banks of the new inlet with rock jetties.

The newly formed inlet was the lifeline the town needed. Commercial and recreational fishing boomed after the inlet was formed. A commercial marina was built soon after, and more changes were made to accommodate larger boats – ones that could handle the deep sea. Before long, blue and white marlin were caught offshore, and the White Marlin Capital of the World was born.

89 years ago the hurricane ravaged the community, sweeping houses off their foundations and burying cars and buildings in several feet of sand. It could have crippled the fledgling resort town, but instead, it paved the way for the once sleepy fishing town to become one of the top East Coast beach destinations.

Crowds flock to Ocean City in the summer, seeking warm beach vacations and all the activities and excitement a resort town can offer, but as the summer comes to a close, it gives way to what locals and visitors alike, call the ‘Second Season’.

The Second Season begins with Labor day and kids going back to school. Despite the summer season getting all the focus, the Second Season offers visitors something no other season can – beautiful weather with warmer water, fewer crowds, ...read more

As we reach the midpoint of another exciting and beautiful summer here, we wanted to take a moment to highlight our unique hotel amenities available to everyone staying in season at our various oceanfront hotels throughout town, especially if you’re still thinking about booking for August! Of course, when you vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, you’re already surrounded by endless things to do. But what if you got more out of your stay? And for FREE? If you don’t already know about our ...read more

Berlin Christmas Tree

If you ever wondered what it would be like to live out your favorite small-town holiday movie, then you must add Berlin, MD to your list of places to discover in the month of December. Voted “America’s Coolest Small Town,” Berlin embraces a historic charm that will create a divine holiday experience. Walk through a community of welcoming, locally-owned shops and businesses, whimsical lights, music to lift your spirits, eccentric arts, and so much more to enlighten your holiday ...read more

Fall Leaf Cozy Sweater Winter Water

As you step outside your door in the early morning, there is a familiar sensation that overcomes you. Leaves crinkle at your footstep, the evocative scent of a faint campfire and the feeling of a chill that brings you comfort. Aimless strolls on the beach are nothing but a solitary vacation to ease the mind. At that moment, Ocean City and its locals know that autumn season is no longer creeping, but fully in session and tends to stick around for a while.

Indulge in all the fall ...read more

Campfire on the beach

September closes the door on the lively summer season Ocean City offers, but October rings in a solitary, blissful time of year known by the locals as ‘Second Season’. Where the soft sandy beaches are quiet and sweeping, Ocean City still ensures an experience during the Fall that will fulfill your need for a beach getaway. Relish in a refreshing dip in the sparkling cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the wide-open beaches that have been warming up all year for you. ‘Second ...read more

Sand Sculpture

One whiff of that salty sea breeze, and all of a sudden, the warm days as a kid splashing around in the ocean and building sandcastles on the shore comes rushing back to you. There you are, filling up buckets with sand and running back and forth with water to aid in the creation of your masterpiece. Sculpting extravagant sandcastles is a childhood dream. How many towers could you build up? OH, and do not forget the mote!
But who says sandcastles are just for kids! Randy Hofman is a ...read more

Planning your vacation to the beach has been a long time in the making. You’ve got the car packed, the playlist queued and you are ready to get a little Mud on the Tires out on the open road. Cruising into town, you smell the sweet aroma of the salty ocean breeze.

Vacation mode: Crushin’ It.

After soaking up the sun, Working on a Tan, it’s time to find your Southern Comfort Zone at the beach and create those special Little Moments you’ll never forget. Who’s ready to Start ...read more

live laugh learn

Thinking of a fall vacation to OCMD? Please visit: https://livelaughlearnoc.com

Maryland’s favorite beach destination, Ocean City, Maryland, is beginning to slow down from the busy summer season into the meandering warm days and crisp evenings that welcome late summertime and early Fall. It’s a wonderful time to wander the uncrowded beach in search of the perfect shell, go for a swim while the ocean waters are still at their warmest, or take a bike ride on the wide open 3-mile ...read more

Fall in Ocean City, Maryland.

Take a good look at the above photo, the one of people enjoying the beach and ocean. The sun and the sand. That picture was taken in late October and those folks are doing the same things as they would in the summer just with more space to move around. If year’s past give us any indication, we are in for another beautiful Indian Summer. Indian Summer you ask, never heard of it? Simply the best way to describe it is ‘ahhhh.’  You would be surprised at the amount of opinions and ...read more

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