National Register of Historic Places in Monterey County
This one-story adobe was built by Antonio Ramirez in 1849 as a home and an inn for miners and travelers. The site was well supplied by water and was a natural setting for vaqueros to hold annual cattle round ups.
The building changed owners several times before 1876 when Lt. George Dutton took sole ownership. Dutton added a second adobe story and wood frame structures at either end.
The Dutton Hotel was located on the original El Camino Real or King's Highway which followed the trail of the Portolá expedition of 1769. It became the nucleus for the settlement of Jolon. Other buildings included a dance hall, a jail, blacksmith shop, and school. Five miles to the west was the Mission San Antonio de Padua.
The Dutton Hotel was a major stagecoach stop for travelers between San Francisco and San Diego in the late 19th century. Stage coaches changed horses. Travelers often spent the night. Visitors included vaqueros, teamsters, soldiers, miners, settlers, trappers, cattlemen and the bandito Tiburcio Vasquez. Nationalities included Indian, Spanish, Mexican and American.
The store was the chief supplier of foodstuffs, clothing, building supplies and whatever people needed. Miners from the Los Burros Mining District in the Santa Lucia Mountains and families who lived in Pacific Valley and other coastal areas would visit the hotel twice a year to enjoy the hospitality of the Duttons for a few days and gather supplies for their mines and ranches. The first post office in Jolon was located at the Inn. It was perhaps here that Lonjano de Castro won his wife in a card game.
Although the hotel operated from 1850 until 1929, its heyday was from 1875 until 1910. In 1910, when US-101 was rerouted to bypass Jolon by nearly twenty miles, the town became a ghost town within a few years.
Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in the 1971.
When we photographed the Dutton Hotel in 2018, it had been reduced to a few standing adobe bricks. Even the protective structure was in a state of advanced decay.
As far as I know, the hotel did not suffer fire or other catastrophe. It was destroyed by neglect and vandalism.
This former Federal property was granted to Monterey County for public parks, recreation and historic monument purposes on September 23, 1976.
Monterey County Parks Dept.