Memories Of The Oceanside Hotel, Magnolia MA In 1931 From George Krewson III

My Dad purchased the Oceanside Hotel at Magnolia in 1931. I was 6 at the time. He kept it until 1946. Dad had no idea how to operate a hotel, having most previous experience in the building business. When the 1929 depression hit he was out of building and just happened to acquire the Oceanside by what he called “trading cats for dogs.” He and Mom learned quickly, and within a few years a guest suggested that they journey down to Thomasville, GA and have a look a winter resort inn there. They liked what they saw and purchased the inn. Each year for the next 11 years they thrived on the resort hotel business–the Oceanside at Magnolia in the summer, and the Three Toms Inn at Thomasville in the winter, Needless to say I cam to really love growing up in the business. Then came WW II and changes in all family’s lives.

Magnolia and the Oceanside, in particular, will always remain as a fond memory.

George Krewson III



    • No Donna. It was located on Lexington Avenue, the site of the brick apartment/condo building. It took up that entire block.


      • Dee Miller (McPeck )

        I remember the hotel very well as I grew up in Magnolia and sadly watched it burn almost to the ground the night it caught on fire, I don’t recall the date, only that I was in my teens.


        • Dee – Is that Dee Dee McPeck/GHS1958 ? It was Thanksgiving 1958. I watched it from our college dorm. Magnolia was a wonderful place to grow up. Lexington Avenue was sooo beautiful in the days of the Oceanside. Many memories of your wonderful family.


        • Dee I was a sophmore in Tufts Dental School and lived over the Ina Shop when the Oceanside caught fire. It was Feb. 1958 and 8 degrees and around 2 am. I have about 22 slides of the fire as it consumed the hotel from the time it started in the elevator shaft on the SW side and burned thru toward the NE. which was the direction of the wind. It took a little over an hour for it to be completely burned to the ground….. Dr. samuel Ina


  • Thanks George – Another great photo of one of Gloucester’s Grand Hotels, like the Pavillion Hotel on Pavilion Beach / the Boulevard. Does anyone have good images to share of The Thorwold Hotel complex in Bass Rocks, The Rockaway Hotel on Rocky Neck, or The Hawthorne Hotel in East Gloucester on the outer harbor ? Were there other big Gloucester hotels as well – what was The Blackburn building on the corner of Main Street and Washington Street, where The Annie theater is today ?


  • Very interesting story!


  • I think I read somewhere it was the largest wooden structure east of the Mississippi River, before it burned down. I’ll bet Magnolia was a little different in those days!


    • Micah, you’re right the Oceanside Hotel was the largest wooden building on the East Coast. And Scott, the Blackburn building was a hotel. I’ll be posting photos of the Rockaway, Hawthorn, and Thorwald hotels in the near future. Maybe I can include some post card views and menus.


  • Tim, if you dive off that rail on the pier I will make a special trip with my video! Janie

    I have pictures of the Oceanside when it was burning…all of us kids were there standing on the sidewalk watching….most of us worked there at one time or another.


    • I would love to see those pictures, or any others you have of Magnolia’s former splendor. I live here now, right across the street from the former hotel, and I am researching Magnolia’s past. Thanks


  • Arthur J Fleming

    Hi, my dad used to tell me that his father, Arthur C Fleming, was the maitre’d at the Oceanside in the summertime, and the Buckminster Fuller in the winter. My dad used to help at the hotel during the war years, due to the labor shortage, his name was Arthur H Fleming, and he was known as Hugh, or Hughie, to avoid the confusion with his father. My father loved it up there, and hwen he talked about it, you could tell it was the favorite time of his life. When we were kids growing up in Wakefield, the only beaches I ever remember my dad taking us to, were all in Gloucester. If by any chance anyone remembers my dad or grandfather, I would love to hear from you.


  • The fire of the Oceanside Hotel was in the early morning hours of December 11, 1958.


Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s