The Ocean House is situated in the Spring Lake Beach section of Spring Lake. Its 285 acres was Forman Osborn's farm until 1873 when it was purchased by The Spring Lake Beach Improvement Company to become a stylish seaside resort, planned by Frederick Anspach of Philadelphia. A large hotel, The Monmouth House, located at the southern end of fresh Pond was nucleus of this resort. The Ocean House was one of many hotels, guest houses, and Inns that were built in a period of construction frenzy.
Joseph Farira Jr. purchased the land in 1877 from the Spring Lake Improvement Company and sold it to Margaret Devine the following year (first Spring Lake flipper!). She contracted Morris Nevins and John Butcher to construct a boarding cottage. The original building extended along Sussex Avenue.
O.H. Brown, a man of importance to the development of Spring Lake acquired the hotel early in the 20th Century and renamed it The Colonial. Mr. Brown was also the proprietor of a dry goods store known for its fine furniture and English china. He outfitted the Colonial with fine oak, maple, and walnut furnishings. The tables and dressers were topped with marble. He added an annex with 13 rooms, 10 bathrooms, a dining room and full basement in 1914. This addition extended north along First Avenue. In 1928 the Taylor family took ownership. They added the stucco façade and 5 bedrooms with baths.