The Holbrooke Hotel – through the years
Let’s take a look at Grass Valley’s venerable Holbrooke Hotel through the years in sketches, photos and text. Additionally, the historic brick has been honored with bronze plaques by both E Clampus Vitus and the state of California.
In March 1978, the Holbrooke Hotel became California Registered Landmark No. 914 at a ceremony held in the hotel’s banquet room. Nevada County’s Assemblyman Gene Chappie presented the plaque to the Holbrooke Ltd. partners, owners and restorers of the building. It was accepted by Arletta Douglas for the owners. A large state plaque with a thumbnail history of the Holbrooke is attached at street level to the Main street face of the building.
However, the Holbrooke’s first historic recognition marking was done in September 1965, by the Wm. Bull Meek-Wm. Morris Stewart chapter #10, E Clampus Vitus. This plaque lists the names of many notables said to have visited, including United States presidents, authors, entertainers and sports figures. It is also attached to the Main Street front.
It was first called the Exchange Hotel by its proprietor, C.W. Smith. In 1877, Smith lost control of the hotel, which was purchased by Daniel P. and Ellen E. Holbrooke and has borne that name ever since.
The Holbrooke’s ownership since 1965 has been Harold and Emma Moneyhun, Holbrooke Ltd., Howard and Peggy Levine and today, hotelier Donna Weaver. The hotel has come full circle, from a first-class establishment, to a marginal rooming house for pensioners, back to a first-class hostelry.
Working on the premise that one photo is worth a thousand words, let’s look at about 5,000!
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