Ocean City, Maryland - Then & Now Lot 45 Part Two
1917 - Present
The building on the southeast corner of Baltimore Avenue and Wicomico Street. The back end of the 1938 Plymouth or Ford seen at the left dates this view to about 1940. (Courtesy of Gordon Wilkins)
Daniel Henry Gordon, Daniel Trimper, Sr.’s grandson and the sole owner of lot 45, was inducted into the Army on May 27, 1918, following the U.S. entry into World War I. His uncle, Granville C. Trimper, who was actually six months younger than Gordon, had also been inducted on December 7, 1917. Gordon had earlier tried to join the Revenue Cutter Service (Coast Guard) but was turned down due to an adenoid condition.
The two men served in different outfits during the war. Granville Trimper, a cook in Company C of the 313th Infantry, landed in France on July 8, 1918. Gordon, a private in Company A of the 312th Machine Gun Battalion, arrived the following day. Both were engaged in the fighting in the Avocourt Sector, the Meuse-Argonne and the Troyon Sector, and were wounded in separate German gas attacks. Gordon and Granville returned to the U.S. after the war in early June 1919, when they were mustered out with honorable discharges on June 9 and June 10, respectively. Daniel Gordon’s wartime experiences had taken a heavy personal toll, and it was said that “Goldie was never quite right again”.
Shortly after his arrival back in Ocean City, Gordon transferred ownership of lot 45 to his mother Maggie (Trimper) Taylor in December 1919. His reason for doing so is unknown, but Maggie may have felt he needed help managing his business affairs. Gordon also married Pennsylvania native Dorothy Elizabeth Diehl that year, and the couple had one daughter, Matilda Elizabeth, better known as “Betty”, who was born on June 1, 1920. The 1920 and 1930 census reports show the family was residing in the house on the corner of Baltimore Avenue and Wicomico Street. Daniel worked briefly as an “amusements director” in the Trimper family business, after which he and Dorothy operated a sandwich shop on the first floor of their house during the summer season while renting out rooms on the second floor to vacationers. In the off-season, Daniel worked as a commercial house painter.
Maggie Taylor subdivided lot 45 in 1923, selling the building on the southern part of lot 45 to Beniah Kinnamon in January of that year. Kinnamon, the former owner of a hotel and confectionery store in Denton, conveyed the property a few days later to John R. Andrews of Menchville, Virginia, a town near Newport News. Following his wife’s death, Andrews sold the parcel in late 1925 to Josephine Campbell of Ocean City.
Josephine Campbell (1893 – 1979) was the older of the two daughters of Asher A. Campbell and Anna (“Annie”) K. Campbell of Berlin. Asher Campbell was a horse trader and the stable manager at the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin. Only a few details have emerged about this family. In 1910 Asher was residing at the Atlantic Hotel, while Anna and her two daughters, Josephine and Flossie, were living near Berlin, where all three women worked as “box makers”. Curiously, both Asher and Anna stated they were married in 1910 but there is no entry under the column “number of years of present marriage”. By 1920 Anna and Josephine were sharing a rented house at 202 Wicomico Street in Ocean City with a black family named Pitts, an unusual arrangement in the strictly segregated resort of the 1920s, while Asher was institutionalized at the Eastern Shore State Hospital for the Insane in Cambridge.
Asher Campbell probably died prior to 1925, and Josephine most likely used her inheritance to purchase the house on lot 45 as a residence for her and her mother. However, in 1930 we find that Anna, now widowed, was living in that house, but there is no mention of Josephine. Based on later accounts, it is known that Josephine offered rooms for rent there during the summer months. In 1941 forty-eight year old Josephine married seventy-nine year old Edwin Zadock Purnell, a retired Ocean City surfman and store owner, but that is a story for another time.
Daisey Mae Repsch is pictured on the left in the right hand photo, identified as the operator of an Ocean City inn.
(From The Daily Times, Salisbury MD, December 12, 1973)
For those with a culinary interest, the “California hamburger” was created during the 1930s. The classic formula included a fried beef patty on a toasted bun, with mayonnaise, finely diced onion and iceberg lettuce. Dill pickle relish was optional, as was a slice of tomato, but no ketchup or mustard, please.
Maurice and Betty Wilkins sold the property in 1964 to Mary B. Poss from Prince Georges County. The conveyance included the northerly part of lot 45, the building and all “equipment, appliances & supplies”. Nothing more is known about Mary Poss, but during the time she owned the building it was eventually transformed from an unassuming bait and tackle shop and hamburger stand into a drinking establishment that would garner a good deal of notoriety in the 1970s and early 1980s.
George L. Scott and Helen T. Scott of Phoenix, Arizona, who may have been relatives of Mary Poss, bought the building from her in late 1972. The Scotts sold it six months later to a Salisbury-based company called “Sunlite Corporation”, headed by Robert D. Schulze and George N. Simms. In June of 1974 Daisey Mae Repsch became the new owner.
The California Hamburger stand facing on Wicomico Street circa 1960. Hamburgers cost 25 cents, cheeseburgers 30 cents, crab cake sandwiches 35 cents, and a submarine was priced at at whopping 60 cents. (Courtesy of Gordon Wilkins)
It was during the late 1960s that Daisey began operating a nightclub in the building on the corner of Baltimore Avenue and Wicomico Street known as “Daisey’s Golden Anchor” or “Daisey’s Anchor Inn” (a 1995 land survey also identified the building by the name “Daisey’s Wagon Wheel”). A local historian comments, “Former construction worker employees told me that whoever was the biggest guy in the bar on a given winter night got free beer in return for serving as bouncer for the night. It was the type of establishment that needed a bouncer, in that it catered to transient construction workers and southern shrimp and clam watermen that came into Ocean City for the night when the weather was bad offshore.” He adds, “It was not a ‘cocktail lounge’!”.
Daisey moved closer to her nightclub in 1972, buying a house on the opposite side of Baltimore Avenue. Her only child, a son named Alfred after his father, also died that year in San Francisco at the age of 24. She sold her former residence on Edgewater Avenue in 1976.
Josephine Campbell Purnell, who still owned the house just to the south of Daisey’s place on Baltimore Avenue, was declared legally incompetent in 1976. Her court-appointed guardian, attorney Raymond D. Coates, sold the house to Daisey Mae in 1978 for $45,000. Around the same time, Daisey changed the name of her bar next door to “Daisey’s Zanzibar Club”. The club developed a fearsome reputation, so much so that it was often referred to after it had closed in the early 1980s as the “infamous” Zanzibar Club.
Daisey apparently decided, or was somehow persuaded, to upgrade the bar’s image. In 1982 Hank Deely and Joe Dougherty took over operations and renamed it “Updegraff’s”. Dougherty recalled the partners’ struggle to overcome the bar’s checkered past in an interview with a reporter from The News (Frederick MD) in early 1983: “Because of the reputation of our predecessor, we were refused the right to have live entertainment or even video games.” Those restrictions were removed after the two men satisfactorily demonstrated to city officials that they were trying to operate “a first-class bistro”.
Joan Mary Carozza bought the bar from Daisey Mae Repsch in 1995 for $320,000. Updegraff’s had been replaced by “Schooner’s Restaurant and Bar” which then became “Snapper’s Saloon”. Ms. Carozza conveyed the property to her company called “Azzorac LLC” in 2000, while at the same time purchasing the old Campbell house next door from Daisey for $200,000. That building, at the time one of the oldest extant structures in Ocean City, was torn down in 2008 to make room for an outdoor beer garden.
Snapper’s Saloon closed in 2010. On March 29, 2011 “Wicomico Street Ventures LLC” bought all of lot 45 and the existing structures for $750,000. After completing extensive interior and exterior renovations, owners Mike and Danelle Amos, Michelle Trimper and Cristina Trimper, along with manager John Paul Reho, reopened the bar on May 19 under the new name “The Pour House”.
Snapper's Saloon in 2010 (www.trulia.com)
The Pour House, the latest occupant of the building on the northerly part of lot #45 (www.oceancity.com)
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