The Ghirardelli & Co. Ruins

The Ghirardelli & Co. Ruins are among the most interesting remnants left from the early days throughout the Gold Country. Once consisting of several rooms and levels, this large, sprawling ruin was originally built in 1855 of dressed schist and adobe walls. After selling his trading post on the Stanislaus River, Domenico Ghirardelli trekked to Hornitos in response to the wild tales of rich strikes which had been circulating about the country. Hoping to cash in on some of that gold for himself, Ghirardelli planned to open a general supply store to serve the miners’ needs. After three years of successful operation, Ghirardelli sold his business and moved to San Francisco to devote his full attention to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company he had previously established. After his departure, a brick upper story was added to the building and the Odd Fellows Lodge was then located on the second floor. The lower floor was then used for an amusement hall and saloon.