National Register of Historic Places in Calaveras County

National Register #72000220: Angels Hotel 6 December 2012
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National Register #72000220
Angels Hotel
Main Street and Birds Way
Angels Camp
Built 1855

The Angels Hotel was erected by C. C. Lake in 1851 at the northeast corner of Main Street and Chinatown Road (Birds Way). At first it was a huge canvas structure that was quickly replaced by a one story wooden building. Here miners tripped to the strains of the fiddle, fife, and drums. Their partners, fellow gold washers, wore patches on their blue jeans which signified that they were ladies for the evening. The favorite dances of the miners were the Masurka [sic], the Polka and the Quadrille.

In 1855 Lake had the frame hotel torn down and on the site began the construction of a one story stone building, to which a second story was added in 1856. The stone, a rhiolite [sic] tuff of volcanic origin, was quarried within about one mile of town, from a high lava cap.

Lake's commodious hotel was dedicated January 1, 1856 at which time a grand ball was given. It was during these early days that Mark Twain who lived for a time with his friend Steve Gillis at Jackass Hill in Tuolumne County made visits to Angels Camp (1860's) and stopped at the Angels Hotel.

On one of his visits, Ross Coon, a bartender and part owner at the hotel, told him of the frog jump which had taken place on Main Street between Scribner's store and the Hotel. Mark Twain, thinking this a humorous event, on his return to Jackass Hill, wrote the story "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".

Annual festivities at Angels Camp make use of this legend as the central theme of the celebration.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination.

Angels Hotel is also California Historical Landmark 734.

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