In these days of the Bay Area real estate land grab, we must pay heed to the days of California’s original gold rush. One way to get in touch with the Golden State’s old-timey mineral roots is to take a look at the Washington Hotel in the tiny town of Washington, CA. For a mere $ 675,000, you could be the owner/proprietor of a hotel/bar/restaurant that opened back in the 1800s.
One major perk? You won’t have much any competition for tourist dollars. “It’s the only business in the town that’s still operating,” listing agent Vicky Warner said of the historical landmark. And the history of the place is positively presidential. Grover Cleveland stayed there. So did Wyatt Earp. An authenticated register displays their signatures.
The memorabilia adorning the walls (and even some of the ceilings) come with the sale price. In fact, everything—the hotel, bar, restaurant, furniture, and more—comes with the sale price. But therein lies the catch: The seller wants no changes to the place. “He wants it to all stay the same,” Warner said.
Needless to say, that requirement has scared off some potential buyers. To add to the fright factor, the place also comes with a ghost. “She has been seen walking the halls,” Warner said. The good news about the spirit? Warner kindly informed us, “She doesn’t cause any trouble.”
Aside from the harmless apparition, the 10-room hotel almost didn’t make it out of the ’90s—the 1990s, that is. When it was purchased in 1994, it had been condemned as “unfit for humans,” according to the Union.
Undaunted, the owner purchased the property, renovated it, and reopened for business in the tiny town with a population of about 200 hardy souls.
The hotel bar became a gathering spot for the locals and still is to this day. Although the owner has decided to sell, the saloon has stayed up and pouring.
Let’s be clear, the Washington isn’t a fancy boutique hotel. The 8,200-square-foot property includes the bar and restaurant on the first floor. The simple guest rooms are on the second, with shared bathrooms in the hall. The top floor is reserved for the owner.
“Five star hotel … this hotel does not know what a star is. But it is exactly how it would have been like back in the old west … that’s the charm,” one reviewer wrote on Trip Advisor.
Thousands of tourists come to the area for hiking, camping, dirt biking, and panning for gold, naturally. All these activities take place by the Yuba River, which runs alongside the hotel. A seasonal destination, the place is packed in the summer and slow in the winter. “The hotel is booked every major holiday,” Warner said, but the entire place can be rented out for weddings.
“What you’re getting, in any other area, it’s a fabulous deal,” Warner said.
Fabulous deal aside, now’s your (only?) chance to become the saloon operator slash desk clerk at a historic, haunted hotel. What else could you possibly want?