Tuesday, June 2, 2015
American River Inn
By Paisley Kirkpatrick During the Gold Rush days of 1849, the American River Inn was situated in Georgetown, California. The hotel was constructed over a productive lode known as the Woodside Mine. Many pound-sized chunks of gold were found by the miners. It's been told that at one point as much as $90,000 was pulled from the earth within a two week period. Then, as if in retribution for the gold taken from its ground, the mine collapsed. Many of the hardworking men were trapped within its confines. It's believed that some are still buried under the American River Inn. A gruff old miner haunts Room 5 at the inn. He abruptly makes his presence known on a whim, yet despite his disheveled appearance, he rarely has a frightening effect on the guests. He's of a tender nature, regardless of his hostile appearance. He loves three things -- honeymooners or happy lovers, Room 5 of the inn, and his long-dead girlfriend, for whom he is still pining. A hearty soul, Oscar was a miner searching for fortune like thousands of others in this time of history. He was fearless in the rickety mine shafts and tapped off river channels. He had a perpetually romantic heart and foolishly gave it to a woman of the evening. As the tale goes, Oscar fell hard for a gold rush prostitute. He was well aware of her profession. In fact, that's how he met her. Many years her senior, he was smitten enough to dream of making her his wife. When not searching for gold, he worked as a carpenter on this property so he could be near his lady love. History shows he was very jealous of her. A heckler, and former client of hers, constantly belittled her name. Words were spoken between the two men. A scuffle prevailed, and in the heated moments that followed, the aggressor shot Oscar dead on the steps of the American Hotel. His body died, but his spirit remained. Many years later the inn was remodeled. The new owners found that Room 5 -- where Oscar's lady love lived -- was in very bad condition. The contractors who worked in the room said they were cold on a hot day. Something would brush past them, but nobody was there. Guests who stayed in that room admitted they actually had seen a ghost, but none of them were terrified of him even though he was gruff looking. He's a friendly ghost as he strolls through the rooms as if he belongs there. A guest said that one night while they were snug in their bed, a dirty-looking miner type walked into their room, smiled at them, and left through the door. Oscar was known to always enter through the door that opens to the balcony and leaves through the door at the top of the stairs. An interesting fact is that soon after Oscar's death a beautiful woman of the evening attired herself in her finest negligee and, with liquor in her hand, leaped to death off the balcony of the American Hotel. The Incredible World of Gold Rush Ghosts by Nancy Bradley and Robert Reppert.