Gold Country history in a 1859 bandb hotel in Jamestown near Yosemite and Sonora
1859 National Hotel in Jamestown, California - Sierra Foothills Gold and Wine Country

For Reservations call 800-894-3446

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AAA 3-Diamond award for the 29th consecutive year


Restoration of the Historic National Hotel, B&B

In August of 1974, The National Hotel was purchased
by Stephen Willey, his brother, Michel Willey, and a friend, Donald Hazelwood. While the bar and hotel had functioned continuously from its beginning, the restaurant was not open, and had not been fully utilized since 1946. Requirements by the State ABC department and the local health department, as well as the building department, made it imperative that the kitchen be gutted, and the dining room totally restored. Thus began the slow process of restoration. With limited funds, and thus providing the labor themselves, the restaurant was reopened in September 1975, with an emphasis on Italian family style dining. By October 1976 the operation was expanded to include lunches.

•At that time, the hotel had 12 rooms, some of which were occupied by monthly tenants at the favorable rate of $60 per month, which included utilities and twice weekly housekeeping service.

•By 1978, restoration had begun on the hotel rooms, although only 2-3 rooms were worked on at a time. This restoration included: plumbing, carpentry, electrical, insulation, soundproofing, drywall, wallpaper and carpeting. When the rooms were finished by 1980, the hotel included 11 rooms, of which 6 had private baths and 5 shared two bathrooms. Each of these five rooms had basins in their rooms. At this time, the National Hotel began operating as a bed and breakfast hotel, although the continental breakfast initially left a little to be desired. By the 1990's, it was evident that “shared baths” were no longer in “vogue”. It was decided to reduce the number of rooms to 9, and add bathrooms to each of the remaining rooms.

Dining room before restoration

Dining room today at the National Hotel

• By the mid-1980's, it was decided to rebuild the front balcony of the National Hotel. Old photos were consulted and renderings made. Finally, blue prints were taken to a redwood mill near the town of Mendicino, from which all the materials were constructed and shipped to Jamestown. It took approximately two weeks for the contractors to reconstruct the balcony. Over the next several years, redwood, kiln-dried ship-lap siding was applied to the front and then the patio side of the hotel. Eventually, Anderson windows were brought in, as well as a number of other improvements that helped to conserve energy, at the same time, maintaining the historic ambiance of the hotel.

•By the mid-1990's, it was decided to rebuild the bar floor and the bar and dining room front entrances. Therefore, in the middle of Winter, the entire first floor of the front was ripped out, bar floor pulled up, and all rebuilt with in two weeks, by a speedy and very competent crew.

•During the years of 2000-2005, most of the restoration work, which is generally done in the winter, was concentrated in the two dining rooms and the bar. Take a look at the brass coated ceiling in the bar, if you have the chance. Current wallpaper, carpeting, ambient lighting, etc., was a result of this work.

•Much work is yet to be done, and includes: completion of fire sprinkler systems, making all that we can, to be more ADA compliant and future work on lower floor bathrooms.


1859 Historic National Hotel ~ Reservations:(800) 894-3446
Proprietor Stephen Willey, Your Host since 1974
18183 Main Street • P.O. Box 502 • Jamestown, CA 95327
Phone: (209) 984-3446 • Fax:(209) 694-4864
Email the National Hotel

Member of Small Elegant Hotels
Member of the California Bed & Breakfast Association

Original Site Design by GG Gruel

Experience Gold Country history in a 1859 bandb hotel in Jamestown, Ca. This historic Gold Country lodging, is located in Tuolumne County, between Calaveras County and Mariposa County. Our historic lodging is near Yosemite National Park, Sonora, Columbia, Murphy's Chinese Camp, Twain Harte, Angels Camp, Groveland, Coulterville, Knights Ferry and Copperopolis. This California gold rush bed and breakfast, is also a romantic b&b inn, and is pet friendly and features gourmet dining in our acclaimed restaurant, along with a award winning Sierra Foothills wine list. The AAA rated Historic National Hotel is the perfect country inn and lodging, for anyone looking for Historic Elegance in the Gold Country.