In the Jim Crow era, black travelers in the United States often had a difficult time finding hotels that would allow them to stay, or restaurants and other facilities that would allow them to purchase goods and services. Racist practices dominated the roadways in many states. First published in 1936, Victor Hugo Green's The Green Book Traveler's Guide ("for negro motorists") provided region and state informational lists of travel businesses safe and open to black travelers. By the end of the segregation era, other guides also existed but the Green Book is and was the most well-known.
The Green Book Traveler's Guide included one Harford County entry: Johnson's Hotel in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Havre de Grace resident Hillen Augustus Johnson owned and operated the Johnson's Hotel. An important resident of the Havre de Grace African American community, he was also a member of two lodges and employed by a local hardware store.
The hotel operated from 1890 to 1969. In 2005, the site of the hotel was redeveloped into a private, single family home.