Old Gold Rush Town from 1848
Last September, Don and I stopped for a night in good old Jamestown. It looked like a movie set.
In fact, scenes from some of my favorite childhood shows were shot here. Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, Wild Wild West and Little House on the Prairie...
The National Hotel
We stayed at the National Hotel, which was built in 1859 by Heinrich & Hannah Neilson.
The two wooden buildings that made up the hotel, restaurant and bar were some of the first original buildings.
Check in at the Bar
We entered the front door and turned right into the bar. That's where we checked in for our room and later came to get a drink.
The place was empty at 4, as if it had just been raided... which it was many times, during prohibition.
We peeked into the dining room. It looked cozy and we had heard the food was quite good. It was also pretty quiet at 4:00.
Up We Go
Our very gracious hostess (can't remember her name) took us up the creaky staircase to our room.
She said we had booked a room without a bath, but she'd kindly upgraded us. The hall was curious. Many of the doors were open, to show off the decor. But a handy little chain kept us from wandering in.
The Bathing Room
We did have a shower in our guest room, but there was also a room with the soaking tub, which was available to all guests.
I poked my head in, but didn't venture in to enjoy the claw-footed tub with handy rack for holding your bath toys. I just wasn't sure how well I could relax and soak, wondering if someone else was waiting for for their turn in the tub!
Our Cozy-Odd Room
We had to chuckle a bit at our fine upgrade. A teddy bear welcomed us from the brass bed... a double frame with a queen mattress, I believe?
There was no TV, which was perfectly fine, but there were 2 lounging robes. The room didn't have much space for lounging, so we left them on the hangers. A small a.c. unit filled half the window, but we only missed out on a view of a nearby brick wall.
Our bathroom was small, but at least we had one. The old door with porcelain knob was pretty. There was even a mirror on the door, which is a nice perk in an old hotel.
The chain pull toilet and shower barely fit, so the sink in the room was handy... even if it had separate hot and cold faucets. That's always a trick, when trying to wash your face with warm water.
There was actually a very welcoming crowd in the saloon/bar by 5:30. But we decided to grab a wine and beer and take it to the veranda.
Don and I have an unspoken rule that If an old hotel has a porch or balcony we must make use. We sipped and lounged and kept an eye on the street below. The Emporium across the street was quite fun to study. It actually had some pretty curious antiques inside.
There was another historic hotel just a few doors down. We wandered over to check the place out, for a future visit.
There seemed to be a dog on duty at the front desk, so we didn't get much info. But that just about sold me! I love a hotel run by a dog!
Drinks and Dinner
We heard good things about Willow Grill, so we wandered down a block and had a drink at the old bar first. The pony-tailed bartender, didn't crack a smile the whole time. Then again, he didn't get mad when I knocked my (not empty) martini on the floor. I apologized, while the other guests chuckled and teased.
He grabbed a broom and dustpan and mumbled something about how we'd broken a lot more glasses in his time. We ate dinner in the next room and had a delightful waiter and a pretty incredible meal.
All Lit Up!
And then we had a 1-minute walk back to our hotel which was all lit up and festive.
Oh how I love hotels in cities or small towns... when you can walk to dinner!
Breakfast wasn't spectacular, but the quiche and muffins were decent. The other guests were more interesting than the food.
Many were staying in Jamestown, because they couldn't get back to their rooms at Yosemite Lodge, due to road closures. Snow and ice had surprised many hikers and explorers, who were out the day before. They were all in surprisingly good spirits, despite the fact they didn't have their suitcases with them.
Good Bye Jamestown
We headed off after breakfast, but drove around town for a quick peek.
The old Methodist church and the Railway State Park seemed to be the only thing of interest, once you got off the main street. It was an odd little town that I can't quite figure out.
The hotel was cozy, welcoming and well-priced...
But there really wasn't anything outstanding or unusual, funny or frustrating to help me remember this place in the future. A nice stay, but I kind of doubt we'll put this on our "must return" list.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!