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Cell Block Residences and the Jail is within the Commercial Historic District of Colonial Beach. The small town is a vacation and beach resort on the bank of the Potomac.  


Originally constructed in 1940, Cell Block Residences, was a one-story building to house the Colonial Beach Volunteer Fire Department. In 1952, a second story was added to the firehouse resulting in the building that exists today. Starting in 1990 the building began serving as the Colonial Beach Police Station when an additional one-story, concrete-block, the Jail, was added.


The Fire Department and later Police Station served and protected the Potomac waterfront and adjacent boardwalk which were lined with numerous grand hotels, boarding houses, restaurants, and small concession stands. Assorted amusements included a Ferris wheel, rollercoaster, bowling alley, and dance halls. 

However, located in a “high risk” hurricane zone, at least 38 hurricanes and tropical storms have been recorded at Colonial Beach since 1930, all of which damaged or destroyed the town’s buildings and infrastructure. While the town has changed a significant amount of what it was in its heyday, a few of its commercial core of late 19th through mid-20th century resources remain relatively intact, one of which is Cell Block.

Cell Block Residences and the Jail

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