The Travelers Rest Hotel

The Travelers Rest Hotel was built in 1851, making it one of the oldest hotels in town. Located atop a small hill at 291 Auburn-Folsom Road, its distance from the main part of town helped it escape the destructive fires which claimed many of the early buildings. The hotel was built and operated by Bishop & Long until 1858, afterwhich it served as Bishop’s home until 1864. It was then sold at public auction on the Court House steps to Eliza G. Caruthers for $4,772.71. In 1868, Bernhardus (Benjamin) Bernhard purchased the property for the sum of $3,500. Bernhard, a native of Germany, was living in St. Louis with his wife and child when news of the Gold Rush hit. He came west, but rather than look for gold, he became a teamster, which paid a better salary. He sent for his family and they settled down in Auburn, sometime around 1855 or ’56. Bernhard continued to drive freight, save his money, and had five more children by the time he purchased the Travelers Rest for their family home. In desperate need of more room for his large family, Bernhard added on to the structure in 1870.