Flagler Beach is one of the best kept secrets in Florida. It is a peaceful beach compared to other Florida party beaches. Flagler Beach attracts tourists from all over to enjoy fine dining with a view and all the small shops scattered along the road next to the beach. What is the history of this magnificent gem?
When we hear Ocean City, we automatically think of Ocean City, Maryland. There is another Ocean City in New Jersey. No one knows about the Ocean City that used to be in Florida. Ocean City was a small settlement on present-day Moody Boulevard on the west side of the Intracoastal Canal. All the way up until 1923, Flagler Beach was known as Ocean City Beach.
Mr. George Moody is accredited for homesteading the area of Flagler Beach and building a beautiful beach that attracted locals and tourists alike. 1916, Moody built Ocean City Beach Casino as a recreation center. Ocean City Beach had 50 dressing rooms for visitors. There was a floor for dancing and skating, a refreshment center, and several showers. Ocean City Beach became the recreation hotspot for homesteaders and visitors alike. The property was sold, and a fishing pier was constructed. The first pier was destroyed by a hurricane. The Current municipal pier was constructed in 1928 one block from the destroyed pier and is now known as Flagler pier. Today, Moody Blvd. still bears George’s name.
The first bridge was completed in 1920. It was constructed from the canal to Ocean City Beach. The funds were taken from a source which wanted to keep bridges free public bridges. Later, the bridge tender was costing too much money. Mr. Moody found a way to keep the bridge free to the public and hence, access to Ocean City Beach. A charter was received for the Ocean City Improvement Company listing George Moody, president in 1921. This charter planned for a hotel, industry, sidewalks, shops, parks and many other expansions along the Ocean City Beach. The hotel was constructed in colonial style and was located directly across from the casino.
Ocean City Beach name was rejected due to the existence of other Ocean City Beaches in other states. Flagler Beach became an incorporated town on April 16, 1925, and Flagler Beach got its name permanently.