The Times and Tides of Ocean City, Maryland
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Museum History
Life-Saving in Ocean City Maryland

Life-Saving in Ocean City Maryland
Originally named the Ocean City Life-Saving Station, the Life-Saving Service and later the U. S. Coast Guard actively used the building until 1964. The life-saving station was 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.

First Life-Saving Station built in 1878 on Dorchester Street

Old Station House
Second Station built in 1891 directly in front of original station
The first station at Ocean City was of the architectural type "1874 type, second variation" It was quaint and small and sat alone in the dunes at the northern edge of Ocean City. A station that saw much activity during its first ten years was cause for the government to enlarge the facility.

In 1891, the present Ocean City Station (the museum) was built. The architecture of the station house (the museum) was referred to as an "1882 type." The architect of record was J. L. Parkinson.

The surfmen stationed at Ocean City became an integral part of the newly developing town. Heroic deeds at sea earned them the respect of everyone.

In 1915 the U. S. Life-Saving Service merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the modern day U. S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard used the building until 1964 when they abandoned the station for a newly constructed station located near the Ocean City Inlet.

Moving the Life-Saving Museum down the beach
Moving the Life-Saving Museum down the beach
The building fell into a state of disrepair and was used by the city for various government departments. In 1977, the building was scheduled for demolition. A group of concerned citizens formed the Ocean City Museum Society and with the generosity of the mayor and city council who made funds available to the society, the building was saved by moving it to its present location.

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Read more about the history of this station which is now our museum.