As a gateway to the water, Ocean City has a long history of nautical adventures, complete with saving thousands of shipwrecked mariners with awe-inspiring heroics.
The predecessor of today’s Coast Guard, the U.S. Life-Saving Service operated for 40 years from 1875 to 1915 and was responsible for rescuing more than 4,000 lives from the “perils of the sea” along the Eastern Seaboard.
Located on the Boardwalk at the Inlet, the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum features exhibits on storms, sea life and “The Boardwalk of Yesterday” — a history of the promenade. Other exhibits include shipwrecks, old-fashioned beachwear, mermaid displays, more than 200 samples of sand from around the world and Davy Jones’ locker. The Aquarium Room showcases huge saltwater tanks filled with amazing sea creatures.
“Our museum is perfect for group tours because it’s the only place where visitors can experience the history of the Town of Ocean City as well as a variety of exhibits that appeal to everyone,” said Sandy Hurley, executive director of the museum. “It’s unique in the fact that it is housed in the original 1891 building that served as the U.S. Life-Saving Station and later the Coast Guard Station. Groups come away with a new respect for the members of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and a lot of fascinating information on the culture and natural history of our coastal community.”
Groups should plan on an hour visit. Discounts for groups of 30 or more are given, with up to three complimentary admissions for escorts and the motorcoach driver. Museum orientation is available with a group tour, which can accommodate up to 60 people. Operators should book a museum tour at least 10 days in advance.
Tours can be scheduled during non-operational hours, if reservations are made three to four weeks in advance.
For more information, call 410-289-4991 or visit ocmuseum.org.
Article by Mira Temkin