Ocean City Life Saving Station Museum
Archives and Artifacts
Showcases artifacts normally housed in our storage facility.
Every month the exhibit will display a unique piece of Ocean City history.

September 2017
"The African Queen"

At 6:00 a.m. on December 30, 1958, Captain Kia Danielsen of Norway sent out the first of several distress signals: "Ship in trouble. No Danger." Due to bad weather, a radar that had not been working several days prior, and the lack of a physical marker; The African Queen ran aground on a shoal nine miles from Ocean City resulting in the oil tanker splitting in half.

It took 4 hours and 9 helicopters to rescue 45 of the 47 crewmen, each helicopter only able to transport 5 men at a time. The two crewmen that were not airlifted were Captain Danielsen and his first mate, Jorgen Jorgenson, who were rescued by boat after they made sure their crew was safe at the Ocean City Coast Guard Station on Caroline Street.

October 2017
"Ocean City Beer"

OCEAN CITY, MD. -- Dr. F. J. Townsend was Ocean City's first home-town physician. Decades later, his grandson is the owner of the resort's first home-town brew. Olde Towne Ocean City Beer arrived in stores in February -- three months before vacationers head for the shore -- billed as the "beer with a vacation attitude!" The local brew was the brainchild of John R. Townsend, 29, an entrepreneur and grandson of the city's first resident doctor. People "have been real receptive," but skeptics think that the Ocean City name means "we're only selling a gimmick like Nude Beer, which tasted terrible," Townsend said. "If we get people past that skepticism, we'll do all right. That's why we got it out early -- to get a local following," he said.

Townsend's wife, Dawn, a graphic artist, designed the label from an old postcard believed to be from about 1915 and which attempts to celebrate the golden days of Ocean City. The resulting label is a mixture of "an antique look with art deco and modern colors," Townsend said. The label also warns: "For Vacationing Only -- Don't Drink and Drive."

November 2017
"Advertising Hand Fans"

Advertising through hand fans became popular in the early 20th century. Many businesses like restaurants, hotels, and even funeral parlors would have fans mass produced with cheap paper that was easy to remove from the fan's ribbing. Others, like the ones shown in our exhibit, were constructed using heftier paper and cardboard. The mass production of fans began fading during the 1940s when air conditioning became more common. Women in particular would use the fans to cool off.

December 2017
"The Great Fire of 1925"

This year marks the 92nd anniversary of the “Great Fire of 1925” which destroyed two blocks between Worcester and Somerset Streets, including Dolle’s Candyland, The Atlantic Hotel, and the original Pier building and Fishing Pier.

In 1925 the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company had only one fire engine which, subsequently had broken down the same day the Great Fire broke out. As a result, Ocean City had to call for help from the Berlin, Pocomoke, Snow Hill and Salisbury Fire Departments

January 2018
"Violets Are Blue"

The 1985 movie starring Sissy Spacek and Kevin Kline was filmed in Ocean City.