first_imgJim Boice grew up near Philadelphia and currently lives in Amherst, Mass., but says he will always call Ocean City his home.His passion for the resort town is reflected by his collection of Ocean City memorabilia dating to the 1800s, as well as his more modern items that include beach tags from the 1970s.But after 15 to 20 years of collecting, Boice decided to sell off his keepsakes Saturday during the annual Antiques & Collectibles Fair organized by the Ocean City Historical Society.“All of my stuff was stored in boxes in the basement. My wife gave me an ultimatum to downsize,” Boice explained of the reason for selling.His mementos included old Ocean City-themed postcards, pottery, books, restaurant menus, a stock certificate from a long-gone local railroad and beach tags from 1976, the first year the town began charging for public access to the sand.The Ocean City Historical Society bought Boice’s collection of menus from a few local restaurants that have long since faded into history.The Antiques & Collectibles Fair, one of four major fundraisers during the year for the Historical Society, attracted 27 vendors Saturday at the Ocean City Community Center.Steve Gring, a trustee for the Historical Society and committee chairman for the fair, noted that some parts of the antiques and collectibles market remain strong, while others are relatively weak. Jim Boice, left, joined by Historical Society trustee John Loeper, sold his collection of Ocean City memorabilia. “Some things are hot, while others are on the decline,” Gring said. “For instance, being in Ocean City and at the shore, anything nautical or beach-related usually sells here.”Loretta Harris, an antiques and collectibles dealer who operated a shop called Eclectique until last year, was mainly selling fancy glass and old-fashioned kitchen utensils.“It’s been a mix of things. Someone even bought one of my Teddy bears,” Harris said.One buyer, Ingrid Hickman, of Ocean City, was searching through a bag of old, broken jewelry for some items she could craft into a necklace.Hickman, a songwriter, repurposes old jewelry into necklaces and bracelets for herself and as gifts for friends. Her hobby can be inspirational.“When I’m stuck trying to write a song, I find that making jewelry is a way to rechannel my energy,” she said.One interesting souvenir that graced Boice’s display table was a black-and-white photo from the 1800s of Ezra Lake, the son of Simon Lake, one of four Methodist ministers who founded Ocean City in 1879 as a religious resort.Like the Lakes, the Boice family also has longtime ties to Ocean City. Jim Boice said his family has been visiting the resort for five generations.As children in the 1950s, Boice and his sister would enjoy summer vacations in Ocean City with their grandparents, staying at the old Colonial Hotel.“No matter where I’ve lived, this is my home,” Boice said.John Loeper, a trustee of the Historical Society and an old friend of Boice’s, said the Boice family’s deep roots in Ocean City underscore the town’s pulling power for more than a century.“Ocean City has been a multigenerational resort. That’s what brings people here. It’s like that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you eat Rice Krispies. But we’ll have to change that to Johnson’s Popcorn,” Loeper said with a smile, referring to one of Ocean City’s iconic businesses. By Donald Wittkowskilast_img read more