June 24, 2024

Black Entrepreneur History

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Albert & Margaret Robinson – Founders of the Hotel Robinson in California

Once upon a time in Black Entrepreneur History there lived an African American couple named Albert and Margaret Robinson who founded the Hotel Robinson which is the oldest hotel in Southern California that is still open today.

The founders Albert and Margaret met and have a unique story out of the state of California as they became what is known to day as an African American power couple.

Albert was born in the state of Illinois[1] or the state of Missouri[2] at around 1841 to 1845, and made his way to the state of California where he made his living as a cook on a ranch. [According to JulianHotel.com, Albert was formerly enslaved from Missouri.] In 1888, he and Margaret, who was originally from Missouri, married in Julian, San Diego, California[1].

After they married, they made the decision to found a bakery along with a restaurant, utilizing their skill to make a living, profit and have something all their own. Later, was in 1897 that they invested in and founded their own hotel – the Hotel Robinson, becoming hotel proprietors[1]. His wife, Margaret, also worked as a cook and chambermaid at their hotel[1]. The Hotel Robinson was located on Main Street Julian.

The Hotel Robinson is now known as Julian Hotel and is listed as a National Historic Site in the United States of America. It is still up and running today. Visit JulianHotel.com.


  1. Year: 1910; Census Place: Julian, San Diego, California; Roll: T624_95; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1374108
  2. California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4-2A; CSL Roll Number: 39; FHL Roll Number: 977094
  3. JulianHotel.com