On the evening of 1 October 1940 — a grim moment in world affairs, as the Germans bombed Britain, and a tense one in national politics, with F.D.R.’s third term at stake — a car pulled up to No. 586, the Colonial Inn. The first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, was at the wheel, accompanied only by her private secretary, Malvina “Tommy” Thompson. The Advocate reported that she had come for a short respite “from telephones, turmoil and other distractions.” The Colonial was run by Marjorie Pell Oliver and her husband, Joseph. They later expanded to No. 603, the Colonial Inn Beach House. Raymond and Clara Smeraldo bought this site in 1960 and renamed it the Ship’s Bell Inn and Motel. It was owned from 1971 to 2002 by William and Nancy McNulty and is now a condo.
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