Fireside Bed and Breakfast
|The Julian Hotel, the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California, is not only a living monument to the glory of the long ago mining boom, it is also the dream come true of a former slave, Albert Robinson, and his wife, Margaret.
From separate directions, Albert and Margaret came to San Diego not long after gold was discovered near Coleman Creek in 1869. Albert, a freed Missouri slave, worked on a local ranch as cook. During this time Albert met Margaret Tull, daughter of Susan Tull who was the wife of the "first colored man ever summoned as juror in San Diego County."
Albert and Margaret married in Julian in the early 1880's. Not long after their marriage, the Robinson's started a restaurant and bakery on the present site of the Hotel. As the Robinson's reputation grew, they began construction on the hotel in 1897. In charge of the building were two prominent citizens of the Julian community, C.R. Wellington and F.L. Blanc.
During construction Albert planted the cedar and locust trees which encircle the Hotel today.
Albert and Margaret became famous for their hospitality as well as for their cooking. Mr. Ritchie, a resident born in Julian, exemplifies their hospitality by recalling his youth and the times his family would have supper at the Hotel after coming to town for supplies. Upon arrival, Albert Robinson would greet them warmly and pick up little Keith. Placing Keith on his shoulders, Albert would carry him inside. "I felt ten feet tall," remembers Mr. Ritchie.
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