Robinson Hotel

Picture Postcard and Short History

(postcard courtesy of USGenWeb Penny Postcards)



"The Kallam Livery Stable, 101 E. First St., was remodeled into the Alcorn Hotel by W N Robinson, a Kansan who came to Tulsa in 1902. The hotel had no "sanitary facilities" but boasted one luxury, private brick paving in front. More commonly, loads of corncobs were thrown on the streets as makeshift pavement. In 1905 Robinson built a more up-to-date Robinson Hotel on the southwest corner of Third and Main Streets with "sanitary facilities" although initially the sewage ran only into a ravine on North Main near the railroad tracks". (1)

.... The most imperative need was living quarters for the influx of oil men, many of whom were sleeping on derrick floors, shacks and tents. There was the small St Elmo Hotel, just north of the tracks on North Main and the Alcorn Hotel built by W N Robinson around 1900. Encouraged by the feverish mounting demand, Robinson wasted no time in building the 146-room Robinson Hotel at 3rd & Main. An off-repeated remark heard in those days was that "more wells were drilled in the Robinson Hotel lobby than in the Glenn Pool field." (2)

The Robinson Hotel was completed in October 1905 and boasted of eighty-four rooms "with" sanitary facilities. Tulsa's first sewage system was quite incomplete, however, with the sewage being piped from the hotel to a deep ravine on North Main Street near the railroad tracks, where it could find its way to the Arkansas River only if there was a strong enough flow of natural water to the river. The ravine had been a headache to the pioneers from the very beginning when the saw horses sink from sight into the snow-filled gap. ... Residents living in the section near the gorge did not take kindly to Robinson's open sewage system and complained bitterly and finally secured an injunction against the hotel. Stimulated by this action, Robinson put forces into action and finally constructed an outlet sewer to the river. Before this had been completed, the leader of the opposition met Robinson and asked if he took the injunction as a personal affront. "Not at all, not at all!" answered the jovial hotel man. "You did just what I would have done had I been in your place." And to show that he was a good sport, Robinson gave what he advertised as a "sewer banquet" in his hotel penthouse for thirty-two of the protesting citizens and others in January 1906 at the time the sewer was complete.

When first completed the Robinson was a two-story brick structure and along with the town, it also grew. In 1906 forty more rooms were added and in 1908 forty more. It was then a pretentious five stories." (3)

Source:(1) Tulsa Times A Pictorial History: The Early Years; Photographs From the Beryl D. Ford Collection; Text by Susan Everly-Douze; Edited by Terrell Lester; (c) 1986 by: World Publishing company

(2) The Tulsa Spirit:a pictorial and entertaining commentary on the growth and development of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Sponsored by the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce (c) Published in 1979 by Continental Heritage Press, Inc. P.O. Box 1620, Tulsa, OK 74101 (no longer in business in Tulsa)

(3) Tulsa's Magic Roots; Nina Lane Dunn; (c) 1979 by N L D Corp. 3414 E 64th St., Tulsa, OK 74136; Published by The Oklahoma Book Publishing Company

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