We present to you … Fenwick

Date Published: 
September 2013

I certainly used to have a different perspective on Fenwick Island when I was younger. Of course, the younger version of myself also had a different perspective on jelly and cream cheese sandwiches, the merits of Lee Majors as a leading man in Hollywood and the staying power of my Pet Rock, Harvey.

Most of my family’s summer vacations involved week-long trips to Bethany Beach each year, and Fenwick Island was a place we drove through one night a summer to go visit the Ocean City (Md.) boardwalk. It was the sudden little town that appeared after driving through the state park portion of Route 1, and in my mind’s eye, it was the landmark that signaled we were getting close to our magical night of funnel cake and measuring how much my fastball had progressed over the past 12 months at the little game off the boardwalk.

As I got a little older, and my attention shifted from spending time with my grandparents and siblings to chasing girls, I usually found myself going to Ocean City for my beach trips with my friends. It seemed at the time like a haven for young blue-blooded American males, and the bus service provided us much more flexibility in reaching any part of the town whenever we saw fit. For a bunch of adolescent boys from Washington D.C., it was like being able to enjoy the Metro for cheap, without the worries of getting mugged or not paying attention and ending up at Benning Road and having to run for our collective lives. There was one night in particular that I will never forget and I ...

But I digress.

Long story, short, I didn’t have too many interactions with Fenwick Island until I began covering the area as a journalist in 1999. It immediately became one of my favorite towns, as the community displayed a consistently high level of civic pride, and I truly learned to appreciate the marriage of quiet beaches and quaint restaurants and shops that dotted the town’s landscape.

I think back fondly to then-Mayor Peg Baunchalk shaking her finger at me when pointing out exactly how stupid I was (You know I love you, Peg), and will never forget seeing my friend Chris Clark (now the Point’s photographer) sitting up with the grown-ups on the Fenwick Island Town Council.

Has Fenwick Island changed since I really began to take note of the town in 1999? Sure. We all have to some degree over that time period. But I argue that the character and charm of the town remains intact, and as long as there are community-minded people in the town to guide the direction it heads in the future, it always will be that special place for so many people.

We put together this publication with the idea of celebrating Fenwick Island, and maybe offering a little information that many of you didn’t know about the town.

We take a look back at the town’s history, offer a peek at where it is today and try to give you some ideas on where it could be going in the future. In addition, we give you a little look at the town’s most popular landmark, its lighthouse.

So, what is it that makes this publication unique, besides its dashing bald editor?

You. The people who live in Fenwick Island, work in Fenwick Island or vacation in Fenwick Island.

We did our regular research through the library and Internet to find facts and figures, but what we relied on to truly tell the story of this magical seaside town is the words and memories of the people who have either seen the town evolve over the years, or actively contributed themselves to that evolution.

And, to be honest, that probably wasn’t even a fair assessment. Everyone who has any contact at all with Fenwick Island has contributed in some way to the town that you see today. It is a home. It is a vacation. It is a place to work. And it is always a place to remember.

We thank you for taking the time to read this publication, and hope you walk away from it with an even greater appreciation for such an amazing place.

This is your Fenwick Island. And it is our Fenwick Island. We all have memories invested in this town, and it’s up to all of us to keep it vibrant in the future.