MS 14 Albemarle Hotel Register

Summary Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection
Albemarle Hotel.
Albemarle Hotel Register
MS 14
Date [inclusive]
1888 October 18-1889 March 27
1.5 Linear feet (1 box)
The collection consists of a guest register for the Albemarle Hotel for the dates October 18, 1888 through March 27, 1889.

Preferred Citation

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

Return to Table of Contents »

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.

Return to Table of Contents »

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.

Return to Table of Contents »


The pages in the register are arranged chronologically.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection May 9, 2011

1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101

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.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Albemarle Hotel.
  • Atkinson’s Comedy Company.
  • Augustin Daly’s Comedy.
  • Eunice Goodrich Company.
  • Haverly’s Mastodon Minstrels.

Geographic Name(s)

  • San Diego (Calif.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Balfour, James
  • Daly, Augustin
  • Goodrich, Eunice
  • Santee, Milton
  • Turrill, Charles B.


  • Hotels — California
  • Minstrels
  • Traveling theater

Return to Table of Contents »

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

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

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Hotel register, 1888 October 18-1889 March 27

Entries of Interest:

Haverly’s Mastodon Minstrels recorded as guests on October 18, 1888.

Eunice Goodrich Company recorded as guests on November 16, 1888.

James Balfour recorded as guest on November 16, 1888.

Milton Santee recorded as guest on November 16, 1888.

Charles B. Turrill recorded as guest on November 29, 1888.

Atkinson’s Comedy Company recorded as guests on November 30, 1888.

Augustin Daly’s Comedy recorded as guests on February 16, 1889.


Return to Table of Contents »

Return to Archival Collections.