The Mayors of Ocean City
Mayor Clifford P. Cropper was a long time commercial fisherman and owner of C. P. Cropper Fishery. Cropper served as mayor from 1940 to 1944.
During the winter of 1942, German U-boats sank thirteen ships off the coast of Ocean City. The beach was fortified with artillery bunkers and patrolled by attack dogs during the war years. Cropper and his council, through strong leadership, maintained "the calm" for both vacationers and the citizenry.
The highly controversial Route 50 Bridge opened in 1942. The new entrance onto North Division Street caused incoming traffic to bypass the existing business district and, therefore, changed the logistics of the town.
In 1946, Mayor Daniel Trimper, Jr. plants the first umbrella of the summer season. Trimper was mayor for fifteen years from 1944-1959. He was the President of Windsor Resorts, Inc., Ocean City's popular amusement park. Mayor Trimper, center, left, with Maryland Governor Herbert R. O'Connor tirelessly promoted the town. Ocean City beauties: left to right: Suzanne and Mary Lou Mason, Betsy Jane Dennis and Esther Simpson.
During Trimper's administration the last of the grand old hotels, Harrison Hall opened in 1951. Mrs. G. Hale Harrison, Proprietor, is shown here.
Tremendous change occurred to the town when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened in 1952 under Trimper's tenure in office. A trip to Ocean City then became an easy three-hour drive from Baltimore and Washington. The influx of tourist was phenomenal.
The motel, a new trend in vacation accommodations, began to appear on both the beach and the bayside. The Sea Scape, pictured here, the C-Bunt, Ocean Park, and Santa Maria Motels were the first to be built in the mid-fifties during Mayor Trimper's administration.
Mayor Hugh Thomas Cropper, Jr. was the owner of the Benson Hotel, a farmer, avid hunter and surf fisherman. He served as mayor for eleven years, 1959-1970. Much of the groundwork for the Ocean City that is seen today was laid during Mayor Cropper's administration. In 1965, the need for a greater tax base and unacceptable water pollution levels made Mayor Cropper annex Forty-First Street to the Delaware line. This opened up a whole new realm for potential expansion of the town.
The catastrophic Storm of March 1962, that caused sudden and dramatic change to the island, occurred under Hugh T. Cropper's administration. During the aftermath of the 1962 storm, land values plummeted. Speculators then arrived on the island and within the next few years the first high-rise condominium was built.
Mayor Cropper's tenure saw Ocean City's first high-rise, the Highpoint Condominium, built by the Caliban Corporation during 1970 at 112th Street. Units were selling for $19,500-$49,500 each. The concept of condominiums totally changed the economics of the Town of Ocean City.
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