Highway 49--Gold Rush Country
The Holbrooke 212 W. Main St., in historic downtown, (800) 933-7077, (530) 273-1353. 28 rooms; $$-$$$. Some gas fireplaces. Continental breakfast; restaurant.
Established in 1851 and located conveniently in the center of town, this meticulously restored Victorian grand hotel has hosted four presidents (Grant, Garfield, Cleveland, and Harrison), stagecoach robber Black Bart, and author Mark Twain.
Guests can step back in time in rooms named for the presidents, and room #18, the Ulysses S. Grant Room--which features a red-brick wall plus some wallpapered walls, high ceilings, a brass bed, a big bathroom with the room’s original clawfoot tub, and a balcony that is perfect for watching a parade--is reputedly haunted. Most rooms are for two people, but a few larger ones can also accommodate a child on a rollaway bed. A century-old wrought-iron elevator cage lifts guests from floor to floor. Located behind the hotel, the 1874 Purcell House offers additional rooms.
The Golden Gate Saloon features an ornate bar that was shipped around the Horn. The oldest continually operating saloon west of the Mississippi, it has a patio and serves food. The elegant Restaurant has full family amenities. Both operate on the main floor. The original subterranean stonewalled saloon, which once was the end point of several mine tunnels, is also said to be haunted. It is now used only for special events. A popular destination for miners because the hotel also had a Gold Exchange, the hotel drew miners from the Empire Mine, which is 2½ miles away.
They would walk here through the tunnels and then hitch their mules in the tunnel while they came in for a drink, entering through iron doors that are now part of the women’s restroom.
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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers