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This blog by arts, culture and travel journalist Stephanie Wright Hession covers San Francisco and beyond.
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Monday, October 31, 2016
The historic Cary House Hotel, Placerville-Haunted or not?
entering the lobby of the Cary House Hotel, I asked the desk clerk about its
haunted reputation. Since working at the four-story red brick building, which
dates to 1857, she said she hadn't seen any otherworldly apparitions. But she'd
heard plenty of ghostly accounts.
most occur in specific rooms on the second floor of this hotel, located on Main
Street in Placerville in El Dorado County. I can't confirm or deny this—these
rooms were booked during our stay, and we didn't encounter anything ethereal. But a chill did come over me while walking through
the halls of the second floor on the way to the balcony.
Several notable guests have stayed here including William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Mark Twain, Levi Strauss, Ulysses S. Grant, Bette Davis and Elvis Presley.
The Cary House Hotel. Photo by Stephanie Wright Hession
series of stained glass panels depicting mining, rural and wildlife scenes,
antique furnishings, rich wood walls and a grand staircase give the lobby its
The lobby. Photo by Stephanie Wright Hession
We pulled back the metal gate of the tiny, vintage elevator
and arrived at our king-size room on the fourth floor. Yellow walls, an ivory
chenille bedspread and twin windows covered with white curtains and lace sheers
gave it an airy feel. An ornate wooden dresser and mirror, a floral painted
lamp and other antique pieces added to its charm. An alcove made an inviting
reading space with its pair of wing back chairs.
Upstairs staircase in the Cary House Hotel. Photo by Stephanie Wright Hession
A door near the breakfast
room leads outside to a courtyard, where hotel guests and customers of
neighboring shops relaxed at tables and chairs, shaded by green market
umbrellas and back dropped by an ivy-covered wall and the sound of a tiered fountain.
Back at the hotel, guests can spy downtown Placerville from the second-floor
The adjacent courtyard. Photo by Stephanie Wright Hession
out of the lobby and you're on Main Street, with an assortment of cafes,
restaurants, wine tasting rooms, galleries and shops.
the selection includes Z Pie's gourmet pot pies and the Heyday Cafe's pizza, panini and entrees such as chicken Milanese and
House Hotel, 300 Main St., Placerville. (530) 622-4271. www.caryhouse.com.
40 rooms and suites, all non-smoking, 2 wheelchair accessible. Rates: $102-$199.
Children welcome. Dogs welcome in specific rooms.