Hotel in Gold Rush Era California Town Up for Auction

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gold rushAlways a hotel, this week’s gold-rush era historical shelter in California also has its place in history as the location for an office and stage stop for an express company that ran mail across the country.

The site of the current Hotel Sutter, located in Sutter Creek, California, was first home to the American House Hotel, built in 1851. It served as a stop for Adams & Co., later Adams Express Company, which pre-dated Wells Fargo.

Sutters Mill

Sutter Creek is named after a local creek, which in turn got its name from a local prospector, John Sutter, who discovered gold nearby in 1848, triggering the California Gold Rush.  Sutter owned a sawmill where the mother lode was found, and after fortune hunters began trampling his land, he decided to prospect, too, moving to Sutter Creek to begin his own mining operation, using his servants to mine, something that drew the disapproval of the miners also working to find gold. Eventually, he returned to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and never mined again.

By 1852, Sutter Creek had a post office. Two years later, it was a town. In 1913, it incorporated.

Over time, the town became a boomtown, moving from gold mining to quartz mining until 1942, when most of the gold mines were closed during the war.

In 1865, disaster struck the town of Sutter Creek when fire ravaged the business district, burning the American House Hotel to the ground. It was rebuilt, and went through several name changes — the American Exchange Hotel, the Belotti Inn, and now the Hotel Sutter.

And while gold mining doesn’t happen in Sutters Creek anymore, there are plenty of nearby wineries and breweries, restaurants, and shopping. And the area that was once known for gold is now known for having land perfect for growing grapes, making Amador County a go-to place for a more dressed-down wine country.

Hotel Sutter has 21 rooms, a meeting space, two dining areas, and more, and has been carefully renovated with an eye toward current creature comforts and historic charm.

“Hotel Sutter is situated in the heart of Gold Country in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains,” said Debi Roks, an event manager with LFC Marketing Services, who is conducting the online auction of the property.

Roks said the hotel and restaurant also enjoy a brisk business since it is the only late-night spot in the area, making it popular with the tourists and locals.

The hotel has a full-service restaurant with seating for 85; a cellar bar with a stage, dance floor and TVs; a full-service lobby bar and business center; a second-floor balcony bar; a banquet room that seats 80 and has a 100 or more capacity for standing room only; more than 3,000 square feet of event space; and three apartments for rent.



The entire property includes the two buildings that comprise the hotel, all the furnishings, all the business licenses, and all the URLs; and all the equipment you would need to run the business, including the computers and point-of-sale system.

“Liquor and food inventory are not included but are available for purchase,” Roks said.

The minimum bid for the property is $2,495,000, and bids are accepted until March 21, at 5 p.m. Pacific.