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Guide to the Albemarle Hotel Register MS 14
MS 14  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

  • Title: Albemarle Hotel Register
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 14
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.5 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1888 October 18-1889 March 27
    Abstract: The collection consists of a guest register for the Albemarle Hotel for the dates October 18, 1888 through March 27, 1889.
    creator: Albemarle Hotel.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Jennifer Ho on May 9, 2011.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    The Albemarle Hotel was built in 1888, during a brief economic boom, on the corner of Front Street and Broadway in downtown San Diego. The hotel billed itself as a family hotel, but was popular with officers of the ships docked at the nearby bay, as well as traveling performance and comedy troupes. The hotel suffered financial hardship and eventually came under the ownership of Ben Hill, a rancher from El Cajon who later became sheriff.
    There is a popular story connected to the hotel of “The Itata Affair.” A Chilean revolutionary, who was an officer on the docked ship Itata, took a room at the Albemarle. The hotel staff and guests heard muffled yells from his room, whereupon forcing the door open, they discovered the officer trapped in the folding bed. The bed had simply malfunctioned, but the officer was convinced it was part of a political plot.

    Scope and Content

    The Albemarle Hotel register, manufactured by the Pacific Coast Hotel Register Company of San Francisco, dates from October 18, 1888 through March 27, 1889. Each page of the register lists the guests’ name, residence, room number and time. The 'time' column is filled with the letters B, L, D, R or M for each guest, possibly noting breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner (D), and maid service (M). There is an advertisement for the San Francisco Chronicle at the foot of each register page. Every other register page is a blotter page which consists of the same advertisement for Peruvian Bitters and the San Francisco Examiner. Hotel guests traveled from across the United States, and as far away as Canada, Mexico, England, and Scotland. Some notable local guests were Milton Santee and James Balfour, as well as the Californian writer Charles B. Turrill. A number of traveling performance artists were registered as guests, including Haverly’s Mastodon Minstrels, Atkinson’s Comedy Company, Augustin Daly’s Comedy, Eunice Goodrich Company, and Sells Brothers and Barrett’s Circus.


    The pages in the register are arranged chronologically.

    Preferred Citation

    Albemarle Hotel Register, MS 14, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Register is warped and discolored. Some blotter pages are torn. (July 19, 2011)

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Albemarle Hotel.
    Atkinson's Comedy Company.
    Augustin Daly's Comedy.
    Balfour, James
    Daly, Augustin
    Eunice Goodrich Company.
    Goodrich, Eunice
    Haverly's Mastodon Minstrels.
    Santee, Milton
    Turrill, Charles B.
    Hotels -- California
    San Diego (Calif.)
    Traveling theater