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The History of Wares Hotel

In the early 1920's, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Ware built the Ware's Hotel. The hotel enjoyed considerable success. A large front porch served as a dining hall and on Saturday nights while dances took place until the midnight hour.

The basement was known as the "Grotto" with a pool table, slot machine, and jukebox.

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You can read more on this popular community meeting place in

Highland Beach on the Chesapeake Bay 125th Anniversary Edition.

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Although the hotel was destroyed by fire at the end of the decade. It was rebuilt in 1931 with considerable controversy in the community.

In the 1970's, Ray and Jean Langston, along with a group of friends; Tab Scott, Ernie Jarvis, Nat West and Johnny Davis, bought the property, turning it back into a guest house.

Jean recalled going to a Holiday Inn auction and bought beds, chairs and other fixtures to furnish the rooms. The intention was to rent rooms to other HB and VB homeowners who had family and friends coming to the beach, but not enough rooms for everyone. The rooms could be rented from Colsec Inc.

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The property quickly transformed from a guest house to a "party house" when the guys installed a bar.

Ray remembers that they didn't make ANY money from the investment, part of the reason was that bar.  

 

If the neighbors complained about the noise or parking issues (and they did)... the complainers were invited to the bar for free drinks!

The property was popular. So popular that then mayor, Eunice Mathews, decided that Ray Langston should join the town government with the idea that would make him a bit more accountable for what happens at the Ware's Hotel, so she appointed him HB commissioner. That started Ray's political career in Highland Beach.

Ray and Jean said the property was definitely "well used" during those years in the 70's. They told the whole story while laughing and smiling at the memories of "back in the day".

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