Atlantic County, Brigantine City
1400 Ocean Avenue
Brigantine City, NJ
Sara Spencer Washington (1889-1953)
African American Beauty Business Entrepreneur
Local African American business entrepreneur Sara Spencer Washington, known as “Madame Washington”, owned the Hotel Brigantine during the 1940s. Washington started with a one-room beauty shop in Atlantic City in 1913, and by 1946 had created a successful beauty empire worth $500,000, including several beauty schools around the country and an Atlantic City plant that manufactured more than 75 beauty products. In 1944, she purchased the Hotel Brigantine from religious leader Father Divine, and established the first integrated beachfront in the Atlantic City area. The Hotel Brigantine, now known as Legacy Vacation Resorts Brigantine Beach, is the only building associated with Sara Spencer Washington that is still standing.