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UD isn’t sure the best first line for an article about the very Jewish Rapoport family…

… is “Christmas came early for the heirs of the historic building…” — but let that go. The heirs of UD‘s grandfather’s brother just won an appeal of a 2017 Worcester County Court decision that would have allowed Ocean City to take away from them a boardwalk building they’ve owned since 1905. 

UD‘s grandfather, Joseph Rapoport, was one of seven brothers who came here from Russia and settled in Philadelphia, but eventually bought and operated businesses in Ocean City, Maryland. Indeed, Nathan – the brother at the center of the appeal – eventually moved to OC full-time and lived on the second floor of the building at issue (its first floor has, for decades, been a Dumser’s ice cream parlor).

Interestingly, Nathan’s obituary only lists Joe among the many brothers.

Nathan Rapoport, 88, one of the business pioneers in Ocean City, died Wednesday in Peninsula General Hospital in Salisbury after a short illness. Mr. Rapoport was formerly of Philadelphia. He was born in Russia. He had operated a games concession business on the boardwalk since 1912, retiring about five years ago. Mr. Rapoport’s wife, Minnie, died in 1968. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Gertrude Goldenberg, who with her husband, Bernie, operates a beach accessory business here; three granddaughters; nine great-grandchildren; and a brother, Joe Rapoport, Baltimore. Funeral services wiil be held Friday at 2 p.m. in the Goldstein Funeral Home, Philadelphia. Interment will be in Roosevelt Memorial Park, near Philadelphia. The family suggests, that as a tribute to the memory of the deceased, contributions may be made to the State of Israel, in care of the Beth Israel Synagogue, Salisbury. 

Ocean City “failed to present sufficient evidence to support the circuit court’s conclusion that the Property is located within the boundaries of the dedicated and accepted public easement of Atlantic Avenue,” so it stays for the time being with the Rapoport heirs, who remain in OC and who get rent from Dumser’s.

The current owner of Dumser’s remembers Nathan:

 I remember him walking on the Boardwalk in the mornings in his long sleeved white shirt with a bow tie. A very quiet man. What I know of him is that he came to this country at the turn of the century, and decided to invest his life in business in Ocean City. He owned the property across the Boardwalk where Daytons and Dough Roller sit today. He had to rebuild after two devastating fires only to lose the property in the depression. He and his descendants have occupied the present building for more than 100 years. This is all that is left of one of our pioneers who took a chance on Ocean City when tourism was all about new businesses.

Margaret Soltan, December 22, 2018 10:25AM
Posted in: snapshots from home

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