Plimhimmon Hotel Collection - PP38

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

ca. 1884-1940

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, October 1999 


See Digital Images for this Collection


When the Plimhimmon Hotel on the beach front in Ocean City, Md. was founded by Mrs. Rosalie Tilghman Shreve, it was one of only three hotels on the beach, the others being the Atlantic and the Seaside. Mrs. Shreve was a Civil War widow who ran a boarding house at Franklin and St. Paul Streets in Baltimore during the winter, and operated the Goldsborough Cottage at Ocean City in the summer. Encouraged by her success with the cottage, she built the Plimhimmon Hotel at some time ca. 1890. The name "Plimhimmon" came from the family estate of Mrs. Shreve's father, Gen. Tench Tilghman, at Oxford, Md.

According to Mrs. Edward R. Willcox (the granddaughter of Mrs. Shreve), to reach Ocean City from Baltimore at the turn of the 20th century required taking a steam ship across the Chesapeake Bay, then a train ride across Eastern Maryland out to Ocean City. The trip took 6 ½ hours. Mrs. Willcox points out that in those days the season for beach visits was shorter, the island being completely deserted between Labor Day and mid-June. During the summer months, people did more talking, eating, dancing to live orchestras, and card playing than swimming. The beaches were unguarded and the bathhouses were only open from 11 am to 1 pm. Amusement concessions located at the end of the boardwalk included a merry-go-round, shooting galleries, and games.

Early in the 20th century, rooms at the Plimhimmon Hotel, which had electricity and a bath on every floor, rented for $2.50 per day. Meals were copious, multi-course affairs, starting with a generous breakfast, then a three-course mid-day meal, then a "light supper" which might include "broiled spring chicken, corn fritters, butterfish, cold ham, oysters poullette, hominy grits, peas, potatoes, grilled apples, rolls, corn-pone cake and peaches".

Note: Information on Ocean City, Md. and the Plimhimmon Hotel is available in the Vertical File of the Maryland Historical Society Library of Maryland History. A source for this article was an item published in the Sunday Sun Magazine on May 29, 1960: "I Remember Ocean City's Early Resort Days" by Mrs. Edward R. Willcox.

Collection Origin

Gift of Mrs. Edward R. Willcox and Mrs. William B. Waxter, 1970 (63277).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 2 boxes, of which Box 1 contains photographic materials and Box 2 contains non-photographic materials. Box 1 holds 22 photoprints, of which 7 are modern prints made at the Maryland Historical Society in the 1980s from vintage glass negatives, and 15 are vintage prints. All of the glass negatives and some of the vintage prints have duplicate/copy negatives available. The subjects are the Plimhimmon Hotel, and the Goldsborough and Rose Cottages in Ocean City, Md., from ca. 1884-1940. Included are views of the lobby, music room, ballroom, dining room, and guest rooms. Photos of hotel and cottage guests include an 1884 group in bathing suits, and guests playing badminton indoors, ca. 1940.

Note: Box 2 holds ephemera and other materials: postcards, menus, other printed ephemera, and printing plates.

Note: Related materials are held in the Manuscripts Department of the Maryland Historical Society: MS. 1937, the Plimhimmon Papers; and MS. 2502, the Plimhimmon Hotel Guest Book.


The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog number.

Container List

2 Boxes (Box 2 is non-photographic materials)

Box 1: 2 Folders

Box 1, Folder 1
PP38.1 - Rose Cottage (afterward Plimhimmon Windsor Hotel), Ocean City, Md. Neg Z8.1350.PP38; dup/copy neg Z6.1854.PP38.

PP38.2 - Dining room, Hotel Plimhimmon, Ocean City. Neg Z8.1351.PP38; dup/copy neg Z6.1855.PP38.

PP38.3 - Plimhimmon Casino, Ocean City, Md., ca. 1911. Neg Z8.1352.PP38; dup/copy neg Z6.1856.PP38.

PP38.4 - Rose Cottage (afterward Plimhimmon Windsor Hotel), Ocean City, Md. Neg Z9.1972.PP38; dup/copy neg Z6.1857.PP38.

PP38.5 - Ocean City beachfront from Hotel Plimhimmon. Neg Z9.1973.PP38; dup/copy neg Z6.1858.PP38.

PP38.6 - The Plimhimmon Hotel, Ocean City, Md. Neg Z9.1974.PP38; dup/copy neg Z6.1859.PP38.

Box 1, Folder 2
PP38.7 - The Plimhimmon Hotel, Ocean City, Md. Neg Z9.1975.PP38; dup/copy neg Z6.1860.PP38. (PRINT NOT FOUND)

PP38.8 - Unidentified group at Goldsborough Cottage, Ocean City, ca. 1884. Dup/copy neg Z24.1362.

PP38.9 - Music room and lobby, Plimhimmon Hotel, Ocean City, Md.

PP38.10 - View of Ocean City looking N from 4th floor of Plimhimmon, Dec 16, 1894.

PP38.11 - Writing room, Plimhimmon Hotel, ca. 1940.

PP38.12 - Plimhimmon Hotel from beach, ca. 1940.

PP38.13 - Ballroom, Plimhimmon Hotel.

PP38.14 - Dining room, Plimhimmon Hotel.

PP38.15 - Dining room, Plimhimmon Hotel. Dup/copy neg Z24.1363.

PP38.16 - Indoor badminton, Plimhimmon Hotel.

PP38.17 - Guestroom interior, Plimhimmon Hotel.

PP38.18 - Lobby, Plimhimmon Hotel, Ocean City. Dup/copy neg Z24.500.

PP38.19 - Parlor, Plimhimmon Hotel, Ocean City. Dup/copy neg Z24.499.

PP38.20-.21 - Dining room, Plimhimmon Hotel.

PP38.22 - Porch with benches and rocking chairs, Plimhimmon Hotel. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Internet Management - WEBNETT