(February 18, 2014) – On Sunday, February 16, Lauren Burr of North Carolina posted a story on the Ocean City, MD Facebook page begging for information about two locks located on Dorchester Street and the Boardwalk. Along with a picture, Burr’s message included an account of how the rusty locks became a significant piece of the love story between her and her husband.
According to the Facebook post by Burr, the first lock was hung on Valentine’s Day in 2008, when she and her husband visited the Boardwalk. After carving their initials in the lock, they hung the lock on a Boardwalk column, which Burr visited on several occasions throughout their marriage, including times during her husband’s service as a Marine. After finding out they were expecting a baby, Burr and her husband added a baby lock to the Boardwalk column, carving a “C” into the metal lock in honor of their daughter, Claire.
Burr said she learned that the locks, along with the Boardwalk column, were gone from friends who visited Ocean City and sent her a photo of a blank space. “The Boardwalk has so many memories for me and my family,” Burr stated in her social media post. “I know this is probably a long shot, but I thought 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. I know they are just two pieces of metal, but they hold my heart.”
Burr’s story was shared over 160 times on Facebook, with more than 150 likes and dozens of comments. Luckily for Burr, the post grabbed the attention of Ocean City councilmember, Doug Cymek. After making a few calls to the Ocean City staff members, Cymek was able to locate the locks, which were being stored by the Public Works Department.
“I spoke to our City Engineer and Public Works Director, who knew the exact whereabouts of the Boardwalk columns and the locks,” Cymek stated. “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. 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.”
According to Burr, she never dreamed the story would touch so many people. “I never imagined so many caring people could be in one community,” Burr stated. “Ocean City has always been a special place for my husband and me, but now when we visit it will mean so much more to us. They aren’t our locks anymore, they are everyone’s locks. Everyone has put so much effort and love into finding them and now we want to share them with everyone.”