“A Place to Come Home to”
The Town of Ocean View is located one mile inland from Bethany Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1688 and incorporated on April 13, 1889, Ocean View was originally known as Hall’s Store and was part of a 500 acre tract of land known as “Middlesex.”
For centuries, the citizens of Ocean View made their living as farmers or as seamen who worked the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. The Town is best remembered as the site where the chicken broiler-fryer industry began. In 1923, Ms. Cecile Long Steele raised the first flock of commercial broiler-fryer chickens.
Newcomers to Ocean View often ask how the Town got its name. Legend tells that during the nineteenth century residents could see the ocean from to the second floor of their homes.
Since the 1970s, Ocean View has undergone a transformation from a farming community to a retirement community. Ocean View has 1882 year round residents. During the summer season, the population doubles with tourists and part-time residents. In the last decade, Ocean View was one of the fastest growing municipalities in Delaware.
While Ocean View’s population has grown in the last decade, it continues to offer a small town atmosphere, and attracts people from many areas of the nation.
Among Ocean View’s hidden gems is John West Park. Located between West Avenue and Central Avenue, the park offers recreational opportunities for all ages. During the summer, the park is a Mecca for children and families to play, picnic and just relax.
The Town sponsors three major events in the park. The first event is the summertime Concerts in the Park. The second event is the annual Christmas time Carols in the Park. The third event is the Ocean View Homecoming. With the assistance of the Homecoming Events Committee, Homecoming is held each year on the second Saturday in May. The homecoming event recreates the annual activities that existed during the former part of the twentieth century when former residents returned to see friends and family.
The Town also has an active Historical Society with over 100 members. Organized in 2008, the Ocean View Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Ocean View and surrounding coastal communities. Presently, the historical society is raising funds to establish a new museum, restore the old Tunnel-West House, and relocate for restoration a nineteenth century post office building.
Ocean View has three active churches, an elementary school, a first class golf course, several restaurants and commercial establishments. Adjacent to Ocean View is the Town of Millville where Ocean View residents have access to two grocery store chains and several restaurants. Neighboring Bethany Beach offers its board walk and Ocean for recreation.
Ocean View is best described as a friendly community comprised primarily of retirees. However, the residents are aware of the community’s history. Perhaps the best way to describe the Town is to look no further than its seal that proudly proclaims “A Place to Come Home to.”