After woman's Facebook effort, Ocean City officials find missing locks

Town council member uncovers mystery of locks that hold key to couple's beach memories

February 18, 2014|By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, The Baltimore Sun

A plea posted on Facebook over the weekend by a North Carolina woman has drawn locks of attention and within 48 hours, a resolution from Ocean City officials.

Lauren Burr said that when she and her husband were dating in 2008, they visited Ocean City's boardwalk and sealed their love with a lock placed on a post near a bench at Dorchester Street. The couple later married and started a family. Before their daughter Claire was born, they visited Ocean City and added a second smaller lock to the original one in her honor, carving a 'C' into the metal. That was in 2012.

Since then, friends who visit Ocean City look for their locks and send them pictures. Recently, a friend sent Burr a photo of a blank space, showing that the locks were missing, along with other benches and posts near the Candy Kitchen, where a renovation is underway.

Burr posted on Facebook to see if anyone had information about what happened to the structures and her locks. Her post garned dozens of comments, more than 100 likes and 150 shares by Monday.

"This boardwalk has so many memories for me and my family. I know this is probably a long shot, but I thought that maybe if I posted this, I could find out if these street posts and benches are being held somewhere or if they're even being brought back," she wrote in a post on the Official Ocean City, MD page.

One of the people who responded to her story was Ocean City council member Doug Cymek, who said he would investigate.

"I went down to DPW this morning and learned through one of the supervisors that the columns are apparently locked up in a secured storage area and hopefully with the locks attached," Cymek wrote. "I will have some check in the morning and let you know. I gave them a copy of the picture with your baby and the locks so they knew what I was looking for. I will let you know!"

By early Tuesday, Cymek had contacted the City Engineer and the Public Works Department on Burr's behalf and located the columns with the locks, which are being held in storage.

"We know our visitors have a special place in their heart for Ocean City and something that we might think is so small, is clearly a huge part of someone else’s memories of the beach," Cymek said.  "With a little bit of help from our staff, we are hoping to restore the locks and hang them back on Dorchester Street for the Burr family to enjoy for many years to come."

Now that's locks of love. Perhaps Ocean City should take a cue from Paris, above, where the "Love locks" bridge over the Seine has beckoned thousands and thousands of lovers over the years to leave a token of their affection in the form of a padlock.

Could padlocks on the pier be the key to OC's next big thing?

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