The Colonial was one of two cottages on N. 1st Street (the other was called “The Maryland”) built by William J. Warrington in the 1890s. In 1897, he attached the two into one hotel and named it “The Colonial.” The hotel fronted on the Boardwalk and was able to host as many as 100 guests. It boasted an oceanfront dining room but had no private bathrooms, no elevators and like hotels of that era had no heat or air conditioning.
Smaller and less elegant than its famous next door neighbor, the Plimhimmon, The Colonial had a frequent succession of ownership in its 75-year history. By the 1960s, it had seen its better days and became one of the first hotels to lease its Boardwalk frontage; its tenants included Joe Kro-Art’s original Ocean Gallery.
The Colonial was the first victim of the infamous “fire bug arsonist” (never caught or identified) of 1972-73 and burned down on Dec. 14, 1972. In 1975, Ocean City’s first Boardwalk timeshare — Boardwalk One — was constructed on the site.
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Postcard from Bunk Mann’s collection