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Henry’s Hotel survives as one of a few 19th century structures in downtown Ocean City. Built around 1895, the hotel and lot were acquired by Charles T. and Louisa Henry in December 1926.

Previously known as “Henry’s Colored Hotel,” the enterprise was a full service facility catering to visiting African-American tourists and entertainers. Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Willie Harmon are among the numerous entertainers who performed at the nearby Pier Ballroom, but stayed here during years of strict segregation among the boardwalk hotels. The beach was restricted as well during the early to mid 20th century. Reserved periods, known as “Colored Excursion Days,” were limited to weeks after the main summer season had passed.

In 1942, Charles T. Henry died, and his wife Louisa continued to operate the hotel until 1951 when it passed on to their son, Charles Wesley Henry. The hotel remains under African-American ownership.

Credit: Photo caption: Henry’s Hotel, Ocean City, Maryland. Courtesy of the Beach to Bay Heritage Area.