The Ocean City Historical Museum Inc., is a Non-Profit 501 ( c ) 3 Corporation owned and operated by the Ocean City Historical Museum, Inc., and was established in April of 1964. It was established by a group of enthusiastic volunteers, with the support of the local government. The purpose of the museum was to preserve the city’s heritage for future generations.
The first museum was located on the first floor of the old elementary school at 409 Wesley Ave. It was only open during the summer of its first full year, as the building was still being used as a school. In July of 1965 it was opened for year round visitors when the school moved to its new location. 5000 visitors from 31 states and 7 foreign countries passed through the museum’s doors between July 1st and August 28th of 1965.
The Ocean City Cultural Arts Center used the second and third floors of the school. Due to the deteriorating condition of the building it was ordered closed during September 1988. As a new home had to be found for both organizations, a committee was formed by Ocean City Council to find a solution that would answer everyone’s needs. The committee consisted of two members from each organization, The Historical Museum, The Cultural Arts Center, The Public Library and City Council. After studying various locations on the island, both vacant land and existing buildings were considered. The location of 1735 Simpson Avenue was chosen for its central location and availability of the land.
The museum, at this time, purchased a property at 1139 Wesley Avenue to temporarily house the displays until the new facility was constructed.
The $4.5 Million Dollar complex at 1735 Simpson Ave opened to the public on June 9,1990. Today, the museum is still operated by mostly volunteers, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and still has volunteers as tour guides. Additionally, the museum now has two paid staff members.