The Ocean City Historical Museum will host a special exhibition this summer to celebrate the Ocean City Fishing Club's 100-year anniversary.

The Ocean City Fishing Club, founded in the summer 1913, is the oldest continuously operated fishing club in the country. Its members have access to the iconic 14th Street fishing pier, the only on-ocean fishing pier in Ocean City, which extends from its clubhouse 635 feet southeast from the Ocean City Boardwalk over the sand and into the Atlantic Ocean.

To help put together the historical exhibition, the museum is asking the local community for donations and loaned items to add to the display, such as old Ocean City Fishing Club photos, awards and fishing equipment.

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The museum does have quite a few original fishing club photographs of its own, as well as some memorabilia, such as old fishing rods and reels, nets and an Ocean City Fishing Club casting trophy, which is about three feet tall and "quite exquisite," Museum Director Jeff McGranahan said. The trophy was awarded to the winner of a long distance surf-casting contest.

Trustee and Public Relations Director George Ingram said that in the early days of the fishing club, long distance surf casting was a very popular sport.

"Back in the old days, in addition to fishing, a great sport was these casting tournaments to see how far they could cast these lead dipsys," Ingram said. "The rod couldn't be any longer than nine feet and the lead couldn't weigh more than four ounces. The teams that won would get these silver medals, which I'd love to see added to the exhibit."

Ingram also would be thrilled with donations or loans of any old reels that might date to the 1920s or prior and photographs of former fishing club members.

The exact opening date for the fishing club centennial exhibition is still to be determined, but it will likely open in July and run through the fall, McGranahan said. Items for the exhibit can be dropped off to the museum, which is located in the Ocean City Community Center, through June 1.

Along with the exhibit, the fishing club has also planned a centennial celebration dinner, for members only, on Sept. 28, and a three-day fishing tournament open to all from Oct. 17-19. A fishing club-themed art show was held in January. The pier will be featured on Ocean City's beach tags this summer.

"This really is a historic event," Ingram said. "There's a treasure trove of history in this club."

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How to help

To donate or loan items for its Ocean City Fishing Club Centennial exhibit, email Museum Director Jeff McGranahan at Jeff@ocnj or call 609-399-1801.


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