Bathing beach, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1938
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Over the years Old Orchard developed into a major resort. Airplanes took off from the beach and auto races were held on the sand. Most of the large hotels were destroyed in the fire of 1907. The oldest hotel still standing on the beachfront in Old Orchard as of 2012, is The Ocean House Hotel & Motel, circa 1895, located at 71 West Grand Avenue.
The seven mile long beach stretching away from the downtown is lined with many beach residential properties, condominiums, motels, bed and breakfasts, an amusement park and a pier.
Three versions of the Pier were constructed by man and modified by nature. The first, was built in 1898 with a casino and a ballroom at the end. Shortly after its completion a storm reduced its length, as was the second pier. The third incarnation of the pier was built in 1980 is still in use as of 2012. The pier is lined with souvenir shops, fair style foods, and a night club.
The Old Orchard Beach amusement park, Palace Playland, dates back to 1902 and sits on four acres of beachfront property. Old Orchard Beach was home to the first carousel in the United States Noah's Ark, a kid-friendly, boat-shaped funhouse with hand-carved figures of Noah and his family. A fire in 1969 destroyed many of the wooden amusement rides and the Casino was demolished in 1970.
The Tichnor Brothers printing company published this type of postcard circa 1938 as part of their Maine series. These, and other postcards, by the Tichnor Brothers Company are officially known as the Tichnor Gloss Series because the photographs were notoriously retouched on such a level that does not allow the postcards to be classified as photographs or paintings. The caption reads, "Bathing beach and pier, Old Orchard Beach, Maine."