History Down to the Foundation

The Jamestown Hotel was first built in 1858; the structure was lost in a fire in 1863. Another building was erected on the site and it too burned down in the early 1900’s. The building that stands today was built in 1919 by David Martinez. The hotel was known as the Spanish Hotel, as many of the Spanish miners lived there. The hotel stayed busy during the 1920’s, but made the auction block a few times.

It was finally sold in the 1930’s for non-payment of taxes. The building was originally a wooden structure and was stuccoed in the 1930’s in the Spanish style with arches in front. In 1938, Dr. Donald Farrell converted the hotel into the Motherlode Hospital. It was during this time that the Hotel most likely obtained its famed ghost, Mary O’Sullivan, one of Dr. Farrell’s patients.

The hospital closed in the 1940’s after Dr. Farrell walked away from it when the war and closing of the mines forced him to move his practice. The hotel reopened in the 1950’s as the Mother Lode Hotel and then the Carriage House. Charles Crocker and Hugh McClung became the hotel owners and refurbished the old hotel and restaurant. In the 1970’s, San Francisco brick was used outside to highlight the wooden balconies. Mr. Crocker closed and sold the hotel in the 1970’s.

Michael and Marsha Walsh purchased the hotel in 1980. They performed a major restoration to the building. The paneled walls were decorated in wallpaper and solid oak hall frames. Brass chandeliers were added along with oak floors and carpeting surround the massive oak bar. Michael and Marsha sold the hotel in 1995. The hotel has had several owners between 1995 and 2019.

In 2019, the hotel was purchased by the Chicken Ranch Economic Development Corporation. The hotel remains an excellent reminder of the glory and elegance of the by-gone “gold rush” era. The eight-room hotel with restaurant and old-time bar beckons guests to stop, visit, and enjoy a step back in time to ponder the slower days of yesteryear.

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