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History of Washington Hotel

In the fall of 1849 a company from Indiana arrived at a stretch of River and decided to remain through the winter to start a township. In July 1850, the name of Washington was adopted and soon after men stared working the gold rich South Yuba River. High amounts of gold were found in this area, which created and molded these hills into "The Little Town of Washington". 


Hessel B. Buisman was born in Holland in 1827, he landed in San Francisco in 1850. He originally kept a hotel in the town of Jefferson located near Washington from 1852 to 1857. He then came to Washington building a two story hotel which could accommodate up to 30 guests.

After the Buisman owners passed away, their daughter and her husband Eldridge Worthley kept the hotel for years. The hotel was called "The Worthley" or "Washington Hotel" and sat on the same site as the current hotel today. The hotel stable was across the street.


At 11 PM, August 16th, 1867 The Big Fire broke out in a near by cabin. It jumped from house to house and destroyed almost every business downtown Washington including the Hotel. The hotel was rebuilt.


On April 21st, 1896 another fire started in the kitchen of the Washington Hotel. This fire destroyed the hotel and several buildings near by. This time, Worthley had taken out fire insurance previous to the fire. The hotel was rebuilt as fast as the weather would allow. 

The Washington Mining District was always served by operators of small stage lines. This photo shows the company stage of Prescott and Grissel. A daily trip used to leave The National Hotel in Nevada City at 7 AM and arrive in Washington around noon. Located on Highway 20 between Washington and Nevada City was the Six Mile House. This was used to rest between trips or take shelter from the weather. Now the drive only takes 25 minutes in your car.

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