Wednesday, March 25, 2015


West Main Street
Grass Valley, California

Grass Valley was originally known as Boston Ravine,
 later officially named Centerville 
and when the post office was established in 1851, 
it was renamed Grass Valley,
 for unknown reasons.

Pelton Wheel

Many of the first settlers
 were tin miners from Cornwall, England.
  They were attracted to the California gold fields
 because the same skills needed for deep tin mining
 were needed for hardrock (deep) gold mining. 
 Many of them specialized in pumping water out of very deep mining shafts.

Holbrooke Hotel
Grass Valley, California

Grass Valley has eight designated historical landmarks,
 one of which is the Holbrooke Hotel.
  The Holbrooke is the oldest hotel
 that has been in continuous operation
 in California's Mother Lode 
and the Golden Gate Saloon 
is the oldest continuously operating saloon west of the Mississippi.

The original building was constructed in 1852
 by Stephen and Clara Smith 
as a saloon called The Golden Gate Saloon.
  The following year,
 a single story annex, 
The Exchange Hotel,
 was added at the back of the saloon.

  A fire in 1855
 burned down the saloon
 but it was rebuilt with fieldstone and bricks.

 The Exchange Hotel
 also caught fire in 1862,
 after which it was renovated into a two story structure
 and in 1879, 
it was named the Holbrooke Hotel
 after the owner, D. P. Holbrooke.

  Currently the hotel has 27 rooms 
and is 19,400 square feet in size,
 which includes a restaurant along with the Golden Gate Saloon.
 The bar in the saloon
 was shipped around Cape Horn.

Several notable people have stayed at the hotel including
 Black Bart, "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, Lotta Crabtree, Bret Harte, Jack London, Lola Montez and Mark Twain,
 and five US presidents:
  Grover Cleveland, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison
 and Herbert Hoover.

The reception area of the Holbrooke

 Throughout the hotel's history
 many reports of otherworldly spirits
 have surfaced.

 According to the hotel manager 
when she goes downstairs by herself,
 she never feels alone
 and many visitors to the hotel
 have reported a presence in their rooms.

  Hotel staff have reported signs of ghosts
 in the hallways and in the rooms of the establishment,
 tugging on the feet of guests
 and unplugging electrical sockets.

 One such staff member reports 
her hair being pulled in Room 10,
 and a guest recently complained
 about a ghost sitting on top of them
 as they slept.

 A pet was reported to have problems
 in one of the rooms,
 the dog was uneasy all night. 
 It wouldn't rest or lay down 
and the owner said 
he felt a cool breeze
 all night.

The card room

This past week
 the Travel Channel has been investigating the hotel 
for their show, "The Dead Files". 
 They will try to substantiate
 whether these paranormal claims 
are true or not
 and if they are,
 whether the spirits are

The Golden Gate Saloon backbar

The hosts of the show,
 psychic medium Amy Allen
 and former NYPD homicide detective, 
Steve DiSchiavi,
 will explore and then meet
 with the owners
 to discuss their findings.

 Amy Allen sees ghosts 
and she will come at night
 to walk the whole hotel
 and nobody can be in the building
 except for her
 and her cameraman.

From left to right:
Susan, Sandy, Judy (me) and Cheryl

These ladies
 are members of the
 C..ute - S..ocial - S..ecurity - J..unkies.

We are all retirees
 from the Grass Valley School District
 and we've formed our club,
 using the initials of each of our first names.
  We meet for lunch, once a month,
 at different establishments around town.
  Here, we are pictured, in the dining room 
of the Holbrooke Hotel.

  We were hoping a rich ghost
 would show up that day
 and pay for our lunches,

The front entrance to the hotel

As of yet,
 no air date has been set for the show,
 but I will let you know
 when that happens.
  Just be aware
of a little tap
 on your shoulder!


The stairway leading up to the rooms.

You never know 
who you will meet
 on your way
 up to bed.

Sharing today with:


  1. I love places and stories like this, Judy. I think there are things beyond what we know and can see. It will be interesting to see what happens with the crew there.
    You are a fun-looking group there. I hope you behave yourselves when you are out in public. lol
    Have a great night- xo Diana

  2. I enjoyed seeing these pictures of a time past. Great looking group of ladies.

  3. Hi Judy,
    What a fun outing for you gals. Wonderful historic buildings and tour. I always like to hear of the ghosts that occupy these old places, I have a few ghost stories on my Ravenswood post that you might find interesting. :)
    Take care,

  4. What a great tour - I'd love to hear about the ghost explorations. Grass Valley was a favorite of ours when we lived in Orangevale. We had some friends there with a haunted house - very interesting place. I love all your photos and the history - and you girls are indeed cute.

  5. Oh Judy, this was such a fun post and the tour was fabulous! I will be very interested to hear what they say about this place :)

    Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. I love having you link up your delightful posts. Hugs!

  6. What a darling main street you have there!
    Cute old buildings, with interesting histories too.

    Love the picture of you and your gal pals! It's so nice that you get together and keep your friendships rich :)

  7. This is an interesting history of this little town and the old hotel and saloon. The ghost story would be interesting to watch on TV. I love that you and your friends get together once a month for lunch. Great photo!

  8. How interesting - I love to read or heard about historical stories. Great pictures Judy. How was the lunch?
    Isn't it nice to get together with friends that you worked with.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. Dear Judy,

    This is such a fascinating post, and I absolutely love your photos. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

  10. My kind of hotel with ghost . I want to stay when the ghosts do. All of you look so good and with big smiles having fun. Love the history and such wonderful pictures to go with it.

  11. That sounds like a interesting show, I'll have to watch for it. Your little group sounds that even more fun though! I recently watched a documentary on Bodie, CA (where I was married) and about the ghost's there as well! So interesting! Have a great week ahead!! Blessings, Cindy

  12. What a great post - love a place with a fascinating history. I adore the backbar from the saloon! Have a wonderful week Judy. Jane

  13. It's a beautiful place, and having such a long history of course it has to have a resident ghost. I wonder if we will get that show in Canada...I will keep a lookout for it,


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Your comments are so special to me...Judy