Hotel Jeffery Reopens!
On what is now one of the back routes to Yosemite National Park from Modesto or Merced or traveling up the “49er Highway” which runs up the spine of the Sierra golden foothills through California’s gold rush towns you come to a crossroads called Coulterville. A stop sign and and rusting miners cart on display outside the Coulterville branch of the Mariposa County History Museum now are the markers of what once was a thriving gold mining town and stage stop, but the most stand out feature of this crossroad is the Hotel Jeffery with “Estab. 1852” clearly marked on its unique yellow façade. Coulterville was a thriving gold rush tent city at the base of Greely Hill in the early 1850s, but fell to a quiet corner rest stop not long after, with the old 49e3r stage coach road keeping guests coming to the hotel.
In the early history of Yosemite, Coulterville was the place to stop for a relaxing rest and a drink at the saloon to wash the dust from a dry throat of a dusty coach ride and the hotel register shows its connection to another time. President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the Jeffery, as did John Muir and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Famed stage coach bandit Black Bart probably stayed here, too, along with a few others along the old stage coach road. The Jeffery Hotel had been owned by the Jeffery family after its establishment by George Jeffery from the original Magnolia Saloon opened in 1851 - California's oldest operating saloon (6 months before the Iron Door in Groveland) - and Fandango Hall attached to the hotel.
The Jeffery Hotel managed to survive a number of fires which had burned down most of the town. It had a harder time surviving the economic fires of the past few years. The hotel changed hands from the original family in 2004 and fell again on hard times about 2 years ago. It has now been refurnished and reopened as of August 2011 by new owners Forrest Monk and Sara Zahn, who had to search the state to gather some authentic furnishings and momentoes which had wandered off. Harley Davidson Motorcycles once again gather under the shade of the old oak tree out in front, a popular stop off for weekend riders
The Hotel Jeffery's romantic old world charm still compliments its fascinating history with the comforts of a modern bed & breakfast style hotel. The rooms are small but rich in historic flavor and comforably furnished in appropriate mood. With the old place anew again, the question remains will the seveteen ghosts said to haunt the place, feel at home. The hotel log book marks the visitors who put down their experiences - so perhaps you'll meet the phantom maid on the second floor stairs or share a drink with the old miner in the revitalised Magnolia Saloon (see also Sierra Sky Ranch and The Groveland Hotel). © Bargain Travel West
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