Beverley Beach, Maryland
|Beverley Beach, Maryland|
|Country||United States of America|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||583199|
|This section does not cite any sources. (January 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
In the early 1940s, Edgar Kalb (a successful Baltimore attorney) and some family members purchased a large tract of land on a peninsula in Southeast Anne Arundel County. The land was platted for more than a hundred single family homes, and the plat was named Beverley Beach. The origin of the name is unclear, but (with the additional 'e') is likely the surname of a relative or friend.
Kalb reserved the bayfront property for an exclusive day resort attraction, which was also named Beverley Beach, and for his own personal residence. The portion of shore with a sandy bottom was developed for members of Beverley Beach, while the remainder of the shore (with a muck bottom) was the site of his personal residence, and was available for expansion of the day resort.
It is likely (but undocumented) that Kalb, with his wealth and connections, convinced Anne Arundel authorities to allow slot machines in the County. Approval came in 1943, and was a boon to Kalb's day resort. Kalb built three 'pavilions': two with a covered breezeway and one standalone just north of the others. The standalone was divided into two sections, with lockers and showers for patrons who waded into the sandy-bottom Chesapeake Bay. One of the other pavilions contained a growing number of slot machines and other coin-operated devices, while the southernmost pavilion had two refreshment stands (serving a limited menu of fast food, beer, and soft drinks), and a generous quantity of tables and chairs for dining. At the very north end there was a dance floor and a bandstand, very popular with local young people on Fridays, Saturdays, and holiday eves.
In the late 1940s, the dance area was converted into a bingo hall, and the dining area was converted into more slots and other coin-operated devices. A swing set was added in the open area to the South.
The swimming area extended along some 300 feet (91 m)of beachfront, from the northern border of the subdivision to an area south of the Kalb residence, and in a roughly truncated semi-circle some 100–120 feet into the Chesapeake. About 2/3 of the distance from the shore were some 7-10 floats, which were square wood platforms supported by air-filled 55-gallon drums. One or two lifeguards were stationed on floats, each with a small wooden dinghy or small wooden scow for getting to and from shore, and for assisting swimmers who got themselves into trouble.
In late summer, the warm Chesapeake waters were plagued with sea nettles, small stinging jellyfish. Kalb combatted these with nettle nets which were erected around the swimming area (which was roughly a truncated semi-circle which extended perhaps 100–120 feet into the Chesapeake). The nettle nets were actually panels of wire mesh (with quarter-inch openings) installed between semi-permanent wood pilings in May and removed into storage each September. Each evening, a lifeguard would be tasked with hanging hurricane lanterns on some of the pilings, to warn boaters of the obstruction. Each morning, they would be taken down, refueled, wicks trimmed, and stored until evening. It was not considered to be an unpleasant duty, as the lifeguards took the opportunity to harvest soft-shelled crabs which were often found clinging to the nettle nets.