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Taylor Bank History - Branching Out

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Taylor Bank's Board of Directors in 1969 -- Standing, L-R, Roland B. Powell, William P. Phillips, John L. Donaway, Ernest E. Burbage Jr., Francis J. Townsend Jr., John H. Scott, E. Vincent Holland. Seated, L-R, Reese F. Cropper Sr., E. Bowen Quillin, Victor R. Strickland, William E. Thomas, Horace E. Quillin, Bryan P. Bishop
Ocean City Grows

With the availability of modern automobiles and the expansion of suburban areas, businesses branched out in the 1950s. The affluence of the times and better highways (Route 50 had been dualized and Route 611 had been built during the war) encouraged citizens from metropolitan areas to vacation in Ocean City.

A major development in the resort business was the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1952 by the state of Maryland. The bridge replaced a car ferry and cut the journey to the resort to three hours or less. Many prominent Berlin families who had been involved in agriculture began building hotels and motels in the north end of Ocean City (then 15th to 33rd streets).

On May 1, 1956, the bank's stock split three for one, making $150,000 capital. At the same time, Reese F. Cropper Sr. began encouraging larger Baltimore banks to participate in the growth of Ocean City.

The First Taylor Bank Branch

In 1960, Taylor Bank officials decided to build the company's first branch office at 20th Street in Ocean City. James R. Bergey was appointed the branch manager.

The branch succeeded immediately. Customers and businesses Taylor Bank had long worked with in Ocean City found the branch more convenient as a whole new world of opportunity sprung up in the north end of the city's older section.

In addition, people who had vacationed in Ocean City began purchasing second homes at the beach as opposed to renting. A severe northeast storm in March 1962 caused land values to drop, and investors eagerly began a new wave of building.

Taylor Bank suffered few loan losses as a result of the storm and by December 1962 listed resources of $9,478,756. Also during this time, William E. Thomas had assumed the presidency from Ernest E. Burbage Sr., who retired, in 1960. Three years later, Mr. Thomas retired and was succeeded by Victor Russell Strickland.

More Expansion

In 1966, Taylor Bank decided to expand its main offices again. The bank purchased the deteriorating Worcester County Health Department building behind the bank at public sale for demolition and the William N. Burbage property across Williams Street from the Burbage Funeral Home at public auction.

The county, in turn, bought a portion of the Burbage property on Williams Street and erected a new health center. The remainder of the property was used for municipal parking for the Town of Berlin courtesy of Taylor Bank.

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