The Craycroft Building

The Craycroft Building is the largest Gold Rush structure remaining in Downieville today. Built in 1852, this massive brick structure replaced the earlier Craycroft Saloon, a hewn log structure which perished in the town’s first great fire. Jack Craycroft was the man responsible for its construction. Using locally fired brick and stone, he put up one of the largest buildings of the time in the region east of Sacramento. The inside of his saloon was just as impressive as its exterior. One of the longest bars in California, made of a single sawed board seventy feet long, helped quench the thirst of many a miner during the early years. Suspended from the ceiling by iron rods was a platform, upon which rested a piano and chairs for the musicians who played for the dances held in the saloon. Above the bar was a room which was used by the Masons and by the Court of Sessions, until the Courthouse was completed in 1854. The second floor has also housed the printing office of the Sierra Citizen, a restaurant, and a men’s clothing store.

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