The St. George Hotel

The St. George Hotel is Volcano’s largest structure. Dating back to 1863, this three-story brick hostlery is the fourth hotel to stand on this site, the previous three being destroyed by fire. The Eureka House was the first hotel on the site, built sometime prior to March of 1853, as John Doble recorded attending a ball there in his diary. It burned to the ground on September 4 of 1853. Doble reports seeing some of the boarders “washing” the ashes the following day in an effort to recover lost nuggets. Rachel and John Myers rebuilt their Eureka House, opening with a grand ball on December 23 of 1853. They had rebuilt with wood. Henrietta George, wife of Benjamin F., purchased the hotel for $2,000 on June 1 of 1854, at which time it became known as the “Empire House.” A fire on October 29 of 1859, the work of an incendiary, broke out in an uninhabited building on Consolation Street. The Empire was among the many buildings destroyed by the blaze. The Georges suffered a loss estimated at $6,000. Undaunted, they rebuilt. Of wood. The new hotel was renamed the St. George and it lasted until October of 1862, when it and all the other buildings on the block went up in flames, started by a fire in the hotel itself. The last time the hotel was rebuilt, it was constructed of brick, which probably saved it from destruction in 1868 when one of that year’s many fires surrounded the building. Today the three-story brick building with the wooden balconies is the first thing you’ll see upon entering town.

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