Did you know there was another African American hotel in Ocean City? Most everyone is familiar with Henrys Hotel, which survives as a local landmark. But on this 1941 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Ocean City is shown the Pine Tree Hotel, labeled as a “colored” hotel located across Baltimore Avenue from Henrys Hotel (shown on the left on this map). Thanks to Gordon Katz, we are learning more about this place and other African American historical sites in Ocean City.
The photo on the right shows Henrys Hotel from a few years ago. The former Pine Tree Hotel was located where Trimpers amusement rides are located on the opposite corner, shown beyond the hotel. Gordon researched the property and found that the property changed hands several times, and at one time the building was called the Grand Terrace, under the management of Norris Moore, who lived in Salisbury, Maryland, and who owned and operated a number of nightclubs.
Gordon Katz located this 1958 ad for the Grand Terrace in Ocean City. The photo next to it is of Norris Moore, which was given to me by his daughter, the late Colleen Lewis. Norris had been married to Vetie Cornish and together they operated a barbershop and a couple of nightclubs in Salisbury.
Katz is with the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum and is developing an exhibit. Plus, there is interest in expanding information about Ocean City’s African American history. Much is known about the Excursion Days, the segregation, Henrys Hotel; but there is more history available and still to be compiled. Your assistance is appreciated. Contact me if you would like to contribute to the story and/or learn more.
— Linda Duyer