The Historic Holbrooke Hotel, Grass Valley, CA

This post was written by jd on March 20, 2009
Posted Under: History
Photo courtesy of the Grass Valley Downtown Association

Photo courtesy of the Grass Valley Downtown Association

A gem in the beautiful City of Grass Valley is the Holbrooke Hotel. Perhaps better said, the Holbrooke Hotel is a nugget of gold, since Grass Valley is a City born of the gold rush of the 1800’s.

The history of the building of the Holbrooke Hotel started with Stephen and Clara Smith being among the first to invest in the then boom town of Grass Valley. They built the Adams Express Office and the Golden Gate Saloon which sadly, were destroyed by fire in 1855 along with most of Grass Valley. The Smiths rebuilt the popular saloon as a one story fieldstone building with a brick façade, making it safer from the threat of another fire. The Golden Gate Saloon, an integral part of the Holbrooke Hotel, is the oldest, continuously operated saloon west of the Mississippi River.

In 1862 a relative, Charles Smith, built the current structure and named it the Exchange Hotel. It was noted for its convenience to the local Gold Exchange. When the Gold Exchange was closed, 18 ounces of pure gold was found. In 1879 the hotel was purchased by Ellen and Daniel Holbrooke who gave the hotel its present name.

Over the years, the Hotel has hosted many famous guests that included Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, James Garfield and prize fighters, “Gentleman Jim” Corbett and Bob Fitzismmons. Famous authors Mark Twain and Bret Harte were also guests of the Holbrooke Hotel. The hotel was also frequented by entertainers Lola Montez, Lotta Crabtre and Emma Nevada. Some say that the infamous highwayman, Black Bart was also a guest of the hotel.

In 1974 the Holbrooke Hotel was declared a California State Landmark and proudly displays a plaque at the entrance to hotel commemorating that declaration.

The hotel is now under new management and will continue to provide top notch service. They have a splendid dining room; the Golden Gate Saloon is there much like it was in the 1800’s. You have a choice of staying in Victorian appointed rooms or suites. If you would like to relive a little of the past, with fine food and service, I recommend the Holbrooke Hotel to you.
For reservations, go to this link  Holbrooke Hotel

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