People play shuffleboard in Ocean Park at dusk. Shuffeboard is one of the central activities for families while they vacation in Ocean Park.

People play shuffleboard in Ocean Park at dusk. Shuffleboard is one of the central activities for families while they vacation in Ocean Park.

To walk through the streets of Ocean Park is to step back in time. Just down the road from the bustle of Old Orchard Beach, it is a place where people look each other in the eye when they pass with a greeting of “good morning” or “have a great day.” It is a place where a stranger can show up on a cottage porch unannounced in the morning, be welcomed to stay and offered muffins and fresh fruit.
The notions of acceptance and belonging have been at the heart of Ocean Park since it was founded in 1881 by Free Will Baptist leaders as an interdenominational summer assembly place. It is also known by the name of Chautauqua-by-the-Sea for its affiliation with the Chautauqua Movement, which started in the 1870s and espoused combining religion, education, cultural arts and recreation as a path toward self-improvement.

Posted 2018 08 28 by Stan McCormack.

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