Colony Cabins, 44 Marsh/Ashworth Avenue

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By William H. Teschek

Colony Cabins in the 1960s
Colony Cabins in the 1960s. [Click for larger image]

The Colony Cabins were a group of tourist cabins located at 44 Marsh (now Ashworth) Avenue at Hampton Beach, just opposite the intersection of C Street on the marsh side of the road. Using local city directories we have established some of the history of the cabins.

The first mention of the Colony Cabins in the local city directory was in 1938, when they appeared at 44 Marsh Avenue. The previous directory, in 1935, listed no building at that address so the lot was likely vacant when the Colony Cabins were built at some point between 1935 and 1938. Ernest R. Underwood was listed as the proprietor. Ernest came from a family of hotel owners and workers. His father's sister Katie Harrington was the owner of the Lawrence House Hotel at Hampton Beach, and his father was a chef there. Ernest and his younger brother Neil Jr. grew up there and in Lawrence, Mass. and/or Gaysville, Vt., and also worked and spent summers at the Lawrence House.

The 1941 directory shows Ernest still owning the Colony Cabins, but now he also worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Younger brother Neil was a member of the "U.S. Flying Corps". (He was shot down in a flight over Corsica, France on August 17, 1944. More...)

The 1944 directory shows that Ernest, while still proprietor of the Colony Cabins, is listed as a member of the "U.S. Army Air Corps" himself. By the time the next directory came out in 1949 he was no longer associated with the Colony Cabins. He went on to hold local political office, among other things.

Milton W. and Jennie G. Pullen of Chester, N.H. were listed as proprietors of the Colony Cabins in 1949. They also owned the Georgie-Ann's Restaurant across the street at 41 Marsh Ave., and the Chesterfield Apartments at 26-32 C Street, also not far away. By 1952 the Pullens still owned the Colony Cabins, but not the other two businesses, and their home was listed as Clearwater, Florida. They must have been scaling back in preparation for retirement because by the next directory, there were new owners.

John P. and Eda B. Zambuto of Rochester, NY were the new owners of the Colony Cabins by 1955. By 1958 the address of the cabins was now 44 Ashworth Ave., as Marsh Ave. had been renamed. The Zambutos retained ownership through the 1960 and 1963 directories, as well as the College Inn hotel next door at 42 Ashworth Ave.

Around 1966 the Colony Cabins were replaced by the Colony Motel. Whether the two businesses operated simultaneously for some time, or whether the Cabins were destroyed to build the Motel, is unknown by this writer. The address in the 1966 directory was 46, rather than 44 Ashworth, so perhaps the motel was built on an adjoining lot. But as there was nothing listed at 44 Ashworth they either changed the street numbering or there was not an empty lot where the cabins were. The situation was the same in 1972 so perhaps the Motel took over the entire lot and it was called 46 Ashworth. The Colony Motel was owned by Mrs. Elizabeth D. Oates from Long Island, NY. By 1972 she was also the owner of the Mayflower at 2 Haverhill Ave., which furnished rooms.

As the purpose of this article was to trace the history of the Colony Cabins we will follow the Colony Motel no further, other than to say that it still exists to this day at 46 Ashworth Avenue at Hampton Beach.

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