Historic Structures

Murphys Hotel - Mitchler Hotel, Murphys California

Date added: November 8, 2019 Categories: California Hotel

Original Murphys hotel built in 1855-56 and known as Sperry and Perry hotel and was called a fire proof building. Stage stop enroute to Calaveras Big Trees, the hotel was built to accomodate that traffic after the trees discovery. Although thought to be fireproof, burned in the fire of 1859. Front part of building was of stone and iron doors separated this part from the wooden dining room in the rear.

Work was started immediately after the fire on a new building which was completed for opening the following year in spring. New walls were entirely of stone. The hotel never again burned in subsequent fires. In the fire of 1874 the stone walls saved it from fire. Also in 1893 there was a tremendous explosion and fire. The hotel was saved except for warping of iron doors and shutters.

James Sperry sold the hotel to Henry Atwood in 1881. After short ownership by Atwood it was sold to Harvey Blood in 1881. It was then sold to G. P. Mitchler in September, 1882. It was operated by the Mitchler family for some few years. After being closed for a period of time it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. R. S. McKiraains. They operated it until 1963 - when it was purchased by 35 members of the Ale and Quail Club. The members of this club consisted of former College of Pacific students.

Prior to the turn of the century many notable people have stayed in this hotel on their jouneys through the southern mines and to the the Calaveras Big Trees. The following were some of the guests, Mark Twain - 1877, Horatio Alger - 1877, Thomas J. Lipton, U. S. Grant, and C. E. Bolton (Black Bart)-1880, John Jacob Astor - 1878, Henry Ward Beecher - 1877, Josh. Billings, Bona Liscomb (one of Napoleons Aides) and E. S. and M. A. Rothchild - 1880, John Hittell - 1867 and John Bidwell and wife - 1877.

Since the Murphys Ale and Quail Club purchased the hotel many of the rooms on the second floor were named after these famous people who occupied them. Brass plates with names were placed on the doors.