Colonial Motel

City/Town: Fort Smith
Location Class: ResidentialHotel/Motel
Year Built: N/A
Year Abandoned: 2005
Status: For SaleAbandoned
Photographer: Michael SchwarzJames Kirkendall


  1. When I first stumbled on the abandoned Colonial Motel around 2009, there were more cabins remaining and the office was not yet boarded up. But the last time I stopped by (2016-ish) I found it boarded up and in the condition in these photos…just a lot of trash. However, the shots of the board with the room keys is wonderful! It was fun to see and photograph this remnant of a bygone era. Donna, thank you for sharing some of the history!

  2. My folks owned this motel from 1959-1985. My grandparents had owned it years before and when it came up for sale I think they notified my grandmother somehow. (I was 9) We all lived in OKC then. Room rented for $ 2 a night for single when we moved to Fort Smith in '59. Two cabins had air conditioning, rest had window fans. Heated with natural gas heaters. Some rooms still had a pull string light in the middle of room. My dad had them all changed. Quite a few were kitchenettes and seems they rented for 8 or 10 dollars a week. None of the rooms had carpet, either wood or tiled flooring. Many cabins had knotty pine wood walls. TV's were the big ones sitting on the floor and of course shows were only black and white. We were told a few of the cabins had come from Fort Chaffee. It was an interesting business to be in. Mom and Pop motel, rang bell after hous and the folks rented rooms dressed in their robes, much like seen in old movies. Doors were locked with skeleton keys. Lots of stories. During the rodeo we had many cowboys staying with us and during the fair we had the carnival folks. Those were the days before campers and motor homes. I remember wrestlers staying there back in the years wrestling was big. During the summer Chaffee trained many National Guard units for their two week annual training. We would fill up when the wives and families would come spend the weekend between the two weeks.

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