In 1896, the only lodging available on Coronado Island was the Hotel Del Coronado and Tent City. Charles S. Robinson, the first Librarian of Coronado, recognized an opportunity to rent rooms.
Concurrently, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, downtown San Diego was expanding and houses were being replaced with wholesale and retail establishments. A number of houses were towed from San Diego to National City, shipped via barge to the Coronado Landing, and towed to various Coronado locations. It is speculated that these houses were available for little or no money to entrepreneurs willing to relocate them.
Robinson obtained three houses in San Diego, moved them to the 900 block of D Avenue, and joined them together to make a 12 bedroom lodging establishment. (By examination of floor joists from under the house it has been determined that there were two two-story shotgun houses and one large square two-story house.) This establishment was named the "Cherokee Lodge" due to the Cherokee roses that were growing wild on the property.
Later the Cherokee Lodge passed to Robinson's two daughters. The surviving daughter, Olive Robinson, sold the Lodge to Harold Humphry in 1958.
Harold was responsible for saving the lodge, which had been positioned on an unstable bricks-on-sand foundation. He and his two sons jacked up the entire structure and formed a solid concrete and concrete block perimeter foundation. They also added a basement and other structural supports.
In 1976, the Lodge was sold to Ed Melvin, a widower with four children. He bought the Lodge as a place for his mother to live in and manage, while providing a room for his six-year-old daughter when he traveled. Ed was a Naval Aviator/Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer and no longer had to go to sea, but did have to travel.
In 1986, Ed married Mary Jane, a clinical psychologist with three children, and together they are owners of the Cherokee Lodge.