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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ocean City in Worcester County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Pier Ballroom & Bandshell

 
 
Pier Ballroom & Bandshell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 10, 2019
1. Pier Ballroom & Bandshell Marker
Inscription.  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 skate 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
Pier Ballroom & Bandshell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 10, 2019
2. Pier Ballroom & Bandshell Marker
of the concerts held there. Afterwards, the crows 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 throughout the summer season.

[Captions:]
Visitors and residents of all ages enjoyed the Bandstand. Whether it was the Annual Ocean City Easter Parade, the "Best Dressed Child" award or a summer concert, there was always something to see and do on the Boardwalk.

The original pier and pier building were completed in time for the start of the summer season on July 4, 1907. In 1918, the roof collapsed following a heavy snowstorm. The building was repaired but burned down, along with several blocks in the Great Fire of 1925. The Pier building was once again replaced in 1929.

The Ballroom was located on the second floor of the Pier Building. Many national recording artists from the 1930s performed on the Ballroom Stage until its
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closing in 1973.

The Boardwalk Bandstand was always considered one of Ocean City's favorite "hang out" places. Strolling along the Boardwalk listening to free evening concerts is still a favorite for the young and the young at heart.

 
Erected 2016 by Ocean City Museum Society, Inc.; The Greater Ocean City Maryland Chamber of Commerce; Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, Inc.; Ocean City Development Corporation; Friend of Youth; Kate Bunting Family Partnership.
 
Location. 38° 19.732′ N, 75° 5.163′ W. Marker is in Ocean City, Maryland, in Worcester County. Marker is on South Atlantic Avenue south of Somerset Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 406 South Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City MD 21842, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Three Ton Tire (within shouting distance of this marker); Ocean City (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Train Depot (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Henry Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Boardwalk Construction 2000 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Treasures From The Past (approx. mile away); British Manufactured Cannon (approx. mile away); "The White Marlin Capital of the World" (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ocean City.
 
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Credits. This page was last revised on August 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 10, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 10, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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