National Register of Historic Places in Amador County
The St. George Hotel is an outstanding example of California Gold Rush commercial architecture. The building shows the influence of the Greek Revival style upon California building in the early years of statehood.
The St. George Hotel is the fourth hotel on the site, the other three having been destroyed by fire. It has served as the community's major hotel since its construction in 1867.
Volcano was founded in 1848 by a group of soldiers mining Sutter Creek. Originally named Soldiers Gulch, the miners changed the name in 1850 to Volcano because of the volcanic appearance of the location.
When the St. George Hotel opened in 1867, Volcano was still a prominent community. Gold production helped finance the Civil War, mainly Union activities.
Volcano reached its peak in 1854 with 5,000 residents. Besides miners, a community of intellectuals had taken up residence. (In 1984 when the St. George Hotel was listed on the National Register, Volcano had a population of 85 people and 37 dogs. It is still considered a community for artists and intellectuals.)
Soon after the hotel opened, the gold fields were mined out. The population declined. Anglo miners moved out. Chinese and Italian settlers moved in. The St. George Hotel was purchased by Italians, and major land owners in the valley continue to be of Italian descent.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination.