The area which became known as Ocean View City was originally a 360 acre (1.5 km²) tract called the Magagnos Plantation which had extensive frontage on the Chesapeake Bay east of Willoughby Spit and west of Little Creek. The Ocean View area was surveyed and laid out with streets and lots as Ocean View City in 1854 by William Mahone, a young civil engineer who was building the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. Under the leadership of Walter H. Taylor, about 30 years later, a narrow gauge steam passenger railroad service was established between Norfolk and Ocean View, a 9-mile long line crossing what was then known as Tanner’s Creek (later renamed Lafayette River). Originally named the Ocean View Railroad, it was later known as the Norfolk and Ocean View Railroad. A small steam locomotive named the General William B. Mahone hauled ever increasing volumes of passengers, primarily on the weekends. The steam service was later replaced by electric-powered trolley cars, becoming both a popular resort and a streetcar suburbof the City of Norfolk. Initially, the improvements consisted of the swimming beach and cottages. The location was quite popular for Sunday outings from Norfolk.
With the advent of additional electric streetcars in the late 19th century, an amusement park was developed at the end-of-the-line and a boardwalk was built along the adjacent beach area. These were a favorite of sailors on leave from the Norfolk Navy Base. Buses replaced the streetcars in the late 1940s. In the mid 20th century, for a number of years, AM radio station WGH broadcast live from a booth under the roller coaster.
Completion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel in 1957 connected the Ocean View area to the Virginia Peninsula. However, it and other newer highways encouraged visitors to continue on to the Virginia Beach resort area on the Atlantic Ocean, a small city which boomed after merging with Princess Anne County in 1963. In particular, construction of nearby Interstate 64 and the Virginia Beach Expressway (now part of Interstate 264) made it easier for tourists from afar to bypass Ocean View en route to the Oceanfront area of Virginia Beach.
The neighborhood includes two large waterfront parks:
Ocean View Beach Park
This unique 6.5-acre beach park, is considered the jewel of Ocean View. The park has a large band shell for presentations and dancing, a beach with lifeguards in the summer, a boardwalk, beach handicap access ramp, and lots of open green space.
Ocean View Beach Park is designated as a festival park, which is a specially designated park that allows for increased festival support, gated and ticketed events & alcohol consumption at special events. Private events are not permitted for this facility and all events must be open to the public.
(information taken from the City of Norfolk’s webpage)