The Corson's Inlet Coast Guard Station
(please click on images for larger views)

Before 1915, the U.S. Coast Guard was known as the U.S. Life Saving Service. It was established in 1871, and 280 stations were built along the east and west coast and the Great Lakes for search and water rescue. The Corson's Inlet Life Saving Station once stood on the beach at 58th street in Ocean City. In 1915 the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service and U.S. Life-Saving Service were combined and renamed the U.S. Coast Guard. They started moving oceanfront stations to the bayside in several areas. They did this so that they would be able to use the new bigger motorboats, which were better launched in deeper bay waters. In 1925, the base for Corson's Inlet Coast Guard was moved from Ocean City's 58th street beach to Strathmere's bay.

Above on the left is an old image from the Coast Guard of Corson's Inlet Life Saving Station, after it was built in 1872 on the Ocean City side of Corson's Inlet. The style of the building was known as 'Red House'. The second photo shows the 58th Street building after it was enlarged in 1899 to the 'Jersey Pattern' style of building. The station stood beachfront on 58th street on the Ocean City side of the inlet.
In February of 1924, a storm caused massive damage to the bulkhead in front of the station. In May of that year, the US Coast Guard sent a representative to hold a town meeting about closing the station. The local Ocean City residents and representatives greatly opposed the closing of the station and emphasized it's importance. But by July the government had announced that it would close the 58th street station and relocate it to the south side of Corson's Inlet, in Strathmere. They pointed out that moving to the bay would enable them to build a new launchway building equipped with the new high speed boats. The main body of the station was dismantled, moved, and rebuilt in Strathmere in 1924-25.

Below is a nice wide beachfront shot of the station when it was in in Ocean City

Above is a really nice old image of the Coast Guard building after it was moved and rebuilt in Strathmere.

Next is the building during it's early days in Strathmere.

Below is an old postcard image of the building in Strathmere from the 1940's.

In the 1940's, a lookout tower was set up out on the beachfront side of the point. During WWII, the building on the south side of the post office was used as a sick bay for the Coast Guard. They also had dogs that they kept in back of the Coast Guard station during the war. There was always one dog and two men that patroled the beach 24 hours a day. Before and after the war, one man would go to the beach whenever it was foggy or snowing, as they could not always see from the tower.
Their patrol area was north to Corson's Inlet and south to about 25th street in Sea Isle City.

*The next image is from an aerial view from 1958. It's a great view, and it shows the building, still in use, along with their docks. The boathouse stood bayfront in front of the Coast Guard building.
*Next is a newspaper article that features a 1962 image of the point, looking towards the bridge. The image was taken right after the storm of 1962. The small story mentions Upper Township's Bicentennial having a special rememberance of the old Coast Guard Tower. The tower was used by the Coast Guard to watch for boats in distress. It ceased being used in 1964, and was removed in 1967. (click image for larger view of story)
*Finally, the tower in 1967, and when it fell over that same year.

The following 12 photos were sent to the website by Bill Benedict.
He was stationed at the Corson Inlet Coast Guard Station from 1950 to 1954.

Crew members of the Corson Inlet Coast Guard Station 1952 & 1953.
Back row - Donald Ellis, unknown, Joseph Goodwin, William Benedict, Chief Louis E. 'Slim' Taylor Officer in Charge.
Front Row - Frank Parker, unknown, Aldan Dailey, (?) Pittman, P. Ford.

This group of Coast Guardsmen at the Corson Inlet Station are shown receiving recognition for 'Helpfulness and Kindness' shown to a summer resident in 1951, from Mr. and Mrs. Ray Hall White.
Left to right are : Frank Parker, William Benedict, Chief Louis E. 'Slim' Taylor, Joseph Goodwin, Aldan Dailey and Donald Ellis.
The scene in the background was painted by William Benedict.

Corson Inlet Coast Guard Station in May of 1951.
Take note of the dog kennel building left from WWII, when they used dogs to patrol the beaches.

The Coast Guard Tower at Corson's Inlet, at the Point, May 1953.
Looking south on the beach from the tower, May 1953.

Looking north to the inlet from the tower, May 1953.

Looking south over the town from the tower, May 1953.

Coast Guard picket boat at the station dock on the bay, 1953

George, the station mascot. 1953

From the Coast Guard Dock, looking at the boathouse and station. 1952.

Carol Twist, daughter of Oliver Twist, the 2 gals in car are Marlene Paar and Connie Dupont. 1952

The Coast Guard building in Strathmere ceased being used in 1964.
The building is now a private home.


I'm looking for more history on our Coast Guard building, please email me if you can provide any info or photos.

Visit - The U.S. Life Saving Service Heritage Association
Night Beacon - Lighthouses, Lightships & Lifesaving Stations

58th street Station history & images provided by Fred Miller
Coast Guard history in Strathmere also provided by Ed Andress.
1872 photo provided by US Coast Guard.
Other images provided by website collection, Strathmere resident and Loretta Panunto.
Thanks to Fred Miller and Lisa Comeau for additional help and info.
Book - US Life Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues, and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard
Book - Guarding New Jersey's Shore: Lighthouses and Life-Saving Stations

Strathmere Home

Uncredited Photos and text Copyright Carol Baker. Do not copy or reproduce.