A Brief History of Ocean City

Ocean City is a barrier island off the coast of southern New Jersey. Famous for its miles of white sand beaches and 2.5-mile wooden boardwalk, the town is a jewel of the Jersey shore. Its proximity to the major metropolitan hubs of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York City makes Ocean City a perfect summer holiday destination. It has been listed in numerous “Top Ten’s” for its beaches, boardwalk, and quality of life. It is also a thriving year-round community with an outstanding school system, walkable downtown, and busy community center.

In the 18th Century, the island was known as Peck’s Beach (John Peck was a whaler). Mainlanders farmed, raised cattle, or boated across for fishing. The only full-time resident was Parker Miller, whose work was watching for shipwrecks. In 1879 four Methodist ministers, three of them brothers, purchased the entire island for use as a Christian seaside resort and camp meeting. They built the Ocean City Tabernacle at what is now at 5th and Wesley Avenue (preserving the tree where they first prayed for this island). They developed what they named Ocean City, identifying streets, selling lots, building a boardwalk, attracting transportation, providing a school, and operating the summer camp meetings. As a result of that early influence, the town remains family friendly and free of public alcohol.

Visitors enjoy a variety of special events all year—Christmas shopping and shows, Easter worship and parade, and seasonal patriotic celebrations. Ocean City has invented other occasions to enjoy—weekly farmers’ market, family Boardwalk nights, a resident professional Pops Orchestra, the “Doo Dah Parade” of two hundred Bassett hounds, the “Night in Venice” boat procession, and the nation’s oldest Baby Parade. The First Night New Year’s Eve celebration culminates with a grand fireworks display over the beach. Indeed, fireworks are a regular feature of the City’s night sky throughout the year.

Residential real estate in Ocean City is a comfortable combination of single homes, duplex condominiums, and townhouses. Bay front homes enjoy a relaxed waterfront lifestyle and magical sunsets. Beautiful beach homes enjoy the sounds of the surf and greet each day with a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. Residences between are within walking distance of the beach, bay, and quaint downtown.

Ocean City is a blend of sand and surf, year round residents and seasonal visitors, second home owners and investors. Come on “down the shore” and make your own memories!