Holbrooke Hotel

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Holbrooke Hotel
Holbrooke Hotel, Grass Valley.jpg
Location212 West Main Street
Grass Valley CA 95945 USA
Coordinates39°13.133′N 121°3.8′W / 39.218883°N 121.0633°W / 39.218883; -121.0633Coordinates: 39°13.133′N 121°3.8′W / 39.218883°N 121.0633°W / 39.218883; -121.0633
Architectural style(s)Mid-19th century Mother Lode masonry[1]
Governing bodyPrivately owned
DesignatedMarch 18, 1978
Reference no.914
Holbrooke Hotel is located in California
Holbrooke Hotel
Location of Holbrooke Hotel in California

The Holbrooke Hotel is located in Grass Valley, California, USA. It is notable as the oldest hotel that has been in continuous operation in California's Mother Lode.[2] The hotel was built in 1862 in mid-19th century Mother Lode masonry architectural style, and incorporated the Golden Gate Saloon which has been in continuous operation since 1852.[1]


The original building, constructed in 1852 by Stephen and Clara Smith,[3] was a saloon, the Golden Gate Saloon.[4] The following year, a single-story annex, the Exchange Hotel, was added at the back of the saloon.[5] The fire of 1855 burned down the saloon, but it was rebuilt with fieldstone and a brick facade. The Exchange Hotel was caught in a fire in 1862, after which it was renovated into a two-story structure. In 1879, it was named the Holbrooke Hotel after the owner, D. P. Holbrooke.[6] The hotel continues to be privately owned.[7]

Several notable people stayed at the hotel including “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, Lotta Crabtree, Bob Fitzsimmons, Bret Harte, Jack London, Lola Montez, Emma Nevada, Mark Twain, and five US Presidents: Grover Cleveland, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, and Herbert Hoover.[4][8][9]


The hotel has 27 rooms and is 19,400 square feet (1,800 m2) in size.[7] The hotel includes a restaurant whose chef gets mushrooms and wild lettuce from local State Park Rangers.[10] The interior includes copper clad walls, mahogany wood, Italian alabaster, and marble.[11] It is furnished with globe chandeliers, green library lamps, and clawfoot bathtubs.[12] The bar in the saloon was shipped around Cape Horn.[13] The hotel was featured on a September 2013 episode of Hotel Impossible[4][14] and an April 2016 episode of The Dead Files.

Historical landmark[edit]

Formerly known as the Golden Gate Saloon, the bar at the Holbrooke Hotel has been in continuous operation since 1852

The Nevada County hotel became a California Historical Landmark, #914, on March 18, 1978.[1] Another historical marker was placed on the building on September 25, 1965 by E Clampus Vitus.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Holbrooke Hotel". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  2. ^ Hoover, Mildred Brooke; Kyle, Douglas E. (2002). Historic spots in California. Stanford University Press. p. 257. ISBN 0-8047-4482-3.
  3. ^ "History". holbrooke.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Rosacker, Christopher (March 5, 2013). "Travel Channel filming ends at Grass Valley's Holbrooke". The Union. Grass Valley, CA: Swift Communications. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  5. ^ "Grass Valley Holbrooke Hotel". malakoff.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Dwyer, Jeff (2009). Ghost Hunter's Guide to California's Gold Rush Country. Pelican Publishing Company. pp. 98–101. ISBN 978-1-58980-687-0.
  7. ^ a b Magin, Kyle (June 25, 2010). "Holbrooke Hotel listed for sale at $1.4 million". The Union. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  8. ^ Dwyer, p. 100
  9. ^ "The Holbrooke Hotel". hmdb.org. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  10. ^ Critser, Greg; Baker, Christopher (2008). National Geographic Traveler California (3 ed.). National Geographic Books. p. 293. ISBN 978-1-4262-0324-4.
  11. ^ "#914 - The Holbrooke Hotel". waymarking.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  12. ^ Chynoweth, Kate (2005). The Best Places to Kiss in Northern California: A Romantic Travel Guide (6 ed.). Sasquatch Books. p. 365. ISBN 1-57061-409-1. holbrooke hotel restaurant.
  13. ^ Kelly, Leslie A. (1997). Traveling California's Gold Rush Country. A Falcon guide; Scenic Driving Series; Historic Trail Guide Series. Globe Pequot. p. 137. ISBN 1-56044-484-3.
  14. ^ Lobenberg, Amy (September 16, 2013). "'Hotel Impossible' takes on The Holbrooke; Grass Valley's historic Gold Rush-era hotel gets renovated". Auburn Journal. Auburn, CA: Brehm Communications. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  15. ^ "California Landmark 914 Holbrooke Hotel 212 West Main Street Grass Valley Built 1862". noehill.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.

External links[edit]