In a little more than a hundred years, a wild and desolate barrier island in Maryland became a teeming resort city. The story began in 1875 when a group of Eastern Shore, Baltimore, and Philadelphia businessmen held a grand opening of a five-story frame building called the Atlantic Hotel, and offered surrounding lots for sale at $25 each. Skeptics observing the scene predicted disaster with the first bad storm. What follows is a narrative of shifting sandsand shifting fortunesas the city weathered natural and economic setbacks and advances to become, every summer, Marylands second-largest city. The narrative draws extensively on the memoirs of early resort residents and, most of all, on conservations with people who have given the town its distinctive character. This is an appealing portrait of an outstanding resort that has been a magnet to vacationers for more than a century.