Ocean Beach began its life as a resort community in 1887. The first lots were sold at a mussel roast held on the beach by developers Billy Carlson and Frank Higgins. Land values evaporated in the real estate bust of the 1890s and the fledgling town almost died. Developer David Collier however had faith and continued to promote the area adding electricity, a streetcar line and some paved streets to the ocean ambiance.
The 1920 brought more tourists and residents began to settle permanently as home construction increased. The area thrived until the crash of 1929 again reduced land values and slowed growth. World War II revived interest in Ocean Beach and the 1950s saw growth really take off as homes were built in the hills surrounding the area.