Place:Ocean City, Cape May, New Jersey, United States


NameOcean City
Alt namesPecks Beachsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS34005046
Coordinates39.265°N 74.594°W
Located inCape May, New Jersey, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ocean City is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 11,701,[1] reflecting a decline of 3,677 (-23.9%) from the 15,378 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 134 (-0.9%) from the 15,512 counted in the 1990 Census. In summer months, with an influx of tourists and second homeowners, there are estimated to be 115,000 to 130,000 within the city's borders.

Ocean City originated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 3, 1884, from portions of Upper Township, based on results from a referendum on April 30, 1884, and was reincorporated as a borough on March 31, 1890. Ocean City was incorporated as a city, its current government form, on March 25, 1897. The city is named for its location on the Atlantic Ocean.

Known as a family-oriented seaside resort, Ocean City has prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages within its limits since its founding in 1879, offering miles of guarded beaches, a boardwalk that stretches for , and a downtown shopping and dining district.

The Travel Channel rated Ocean City as the Best Family Beach of 2005. It was ranked the third-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. In the 2009 Top 10 Beaches Contest, Ocean City ranked first.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Before Ocean City was established, local Native Americans set up camps on the island for fishing in the summer months. In 1633, Dutch navigator David Pietersz. de Vries referred to "flat sand beaches with low hills between Cape May and Egg Harbor", possibly the earliest reference to the island that became Ocean City. In 1695, Thomas Budd surveyed the land on behalf of the West Jersey Society. Around 1700, John Peck used the island as a base of operation for storing freshly hunted whales, and subsequently the land became known as Peck's Beach. The first record of a house on Peck's Beach was in 1752. During the 18th century, cattle grazers brought cows to the island, where plentiful trees, weeds, brush, and seagrass provided suitable condition. Parker Miller was the first permanent resident of Peck's Beach in 1859.[2]

Originally purchased by the Somers family, the island was formerly named Peck's Beach, believed to have been given the name for a whaler named John Peck. In 1700, whaler John Peck began using the barrier island as a storage place for freshly caught whales. The island was also used as cattle-grazing area, and mainlanders would boat over for a picnic or to hunt. On September 10, 1879, four Methodist ministers – Ezra B. Lake, James Lake, S. Wesley Lake, and William Burrell – chose the island as a suitable spot to establish a Christian retreat and camp meeting on the order of Ocean Grove. They met under a tall cedar tree, which stands today in the lobby of the Ocean City Tabernacle. Having chosen the name "Ocean City", the founders incorporated the Ocean City Association, and laid out street and lots for cottages, hotel, and businesses. The Ocean City Tabernacle was built between Wesley and Asbury Avenues and between 5th and 6th Streets. Camp meetings were held by the following summer and continue uninterrupted to this day.

In 1881, the first school on the island opened.[3] The first bridge to the island was built in 1883, and the West Jersey Railroad opened in 1884. Based on a referendum on April 30, 1884, the borough of Ocean City was formed from portions of Upper Township, following an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 3, 1884.[4]

The ship Sindia joined other shipwrecks on the beach on December 15, 1901, on its way to New York City from Kobe, Japan, but has since sunk below the sand. A salvage attempt to retrieve treasures believed to have been on the ship was most recently launched in the 1970s, all of which have been unsuccessful. In 1920, the Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan "America's Greatest Family Resort". A large fire in 1927 caused $1.5 million in damage and led the city to move the boardwalk closer to the ocean, which resulted in the greater potential for damage from saltwater.

Alcohol prohibition

As a result of its religious origins, the sale or public drinking of alcoholic beverages in Ocean City was prohibited. In 1881, the Ocean City Association passed a set of blue laws – laws designed to enforce religious standards. The town banned the manufacturing or sale of alcohol in 1909.[5] Promoting water instead of drinking alcohol, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union donated a public fountain, dedicated on Memorial Day in 1915. Despite the prohibition of alcohol within the municipality, illegal saloons operated within Ocean City, and in 1929, prosecutors raided 27 speakeasies. In 1951, the town banned the consumption of alcohol on the beach, and banned all public alcohol consumption in 1958. During the campaign for a 1986 referendum to repeal the blue laws, ads in the local paper suggested that the repeal could be next. In May 2012, 68.8% of voters rejected a ballot initiative for BYOB – bring your own bottle. As of 2016, Ocean City was one of 32 dry towns in New Jersey. Despite the prohibition in the city, 18.3% of adults in Ocean City metropolitan statistical area (which includes all of Cape May County) drink alcohol heavily or binge drink, the highest percentage of any metro area in the state; USA Today listed Ocean City as the state's most drunken city on its 2017 list of "The drunkest city in every state".

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