Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

Henderson & Roach– St. Elmo Hotel (Crawford House)

John Crawford came to Randsburg during the summer of 1896. He was a Kern County Deputy Sheriff and came with Cy Droilluard and was a partner in the St. Elmo Mine located near present day Atolia.  John built a saloon and hotel in Randsburg but could not manage both so he sold out the hotel to Henderson and Roach sometime prior to November of 1896.  James Roach came from Redondo Beach and was also a partner in the Elite Theater.  The Hotel was 25 x 80 feet and was the largest in camp at the time. The dining room and office took up the front 30 feet. The Visalia Daily Morning Delta told of a Visalian by the name of Frank T. Kimball experience at the St. Elmo as follows:

“At the St. Elmo, the leading hotel of the town, the dining room, kitchen and wash room are in the same enclosure.  At mealtime owing to the scarcity of chairs, all the guests stand, except those who secure a chair.  All guests are required to register every morning, and pay for their lodgings in advance.  Otherwise the will have to sleep in chairs of on the floor.  When guests are shown to their cots or beds the hotel clerk carries a lighted candle, minus the usual candlestick, and before arranging the covering holds the candle, burning end downward, and in the grease spot thus made the candle is stuck to keep it from falling.  The floor of the bedroom is made by laying rough boards as closely as possible and all night long the chilling winds whistle through the crevices and rudely disturb the slumbers of the traveling tenderfoot and fortune hunter.”

In January of 1897, about the time that Mr. Kimball had stayed at the St. Elmo, Mr. Henderson sold out his interest to Capt. Thomas, and a day later Mr. Roach sold out to Mr. Herbert Rogers of Santa Barbara. In October of 1897 the hotel was being leased to J. W. Lambert.

Hannah & Genshlea – Hollenbeck Hotel

This business is mentioned in the December 12, 1896 edition of the Randsburg Miner. No other information has been found on it, except the above photo which shows the large tent, second from right to be the Hollenbeck Hotel.

Rogers & Thomas– St. Elmo Hotel

Herbert Rogers and a Capt. Thomas purchased the St. Elmo Hotel in January 1897.  Realizing that the men coming to camp at that time wanted better accommodations they immediately let a contract for a new two-story hotel to be built on the same site as the current St. Elmo.  The 1898 business directory lists the spelling of Capt. Thomas’s name as Thomes.  Which spelling is correct is unknown. 

Brown & Johnson– Hotel Rand

Although Marcia Wynn Rittenhouse in her book Desert Bonanza and George McPherson in his History of the Rand Mining District attribute the building of The Hotel Rand to the year 1896, the Bakersfield Daily Californian reports differently.  In their January 19, 1897 edition they state “One contract is let and the lumber on the ground for a new two story hotel, well up toward Fiddler’s Gulch.  This house is being put up by Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Brown, two ladies from Visalia, and will contain twelve sleeping rooms upstairs.” Mrs. M. A. Johnson and Laura C. Brown were two wealthy widow women.

Their hotel was according to George McPherson “…furnished in the most elegant manner throughout, with all comforts and conveniences for the entertainment of the traveling public.” It was a prominent building being two story and painted pure white.  For years it dominated the East End of town and can be seen in many of the old pictures of town.  The frame of the building was still standing in the 1980’s.  Mrs. Brown was listed as the sole proprietor in 1899 and is shown in the 1900 Census as being a hotelkeeper.

J. W. Lambert – St. Elmo Hotel

In September of 1897 Mr. and Mrs. Lambert, formerly of Firebaugh, Cal., leased the St. Elmo.  They were experienced hotel people and were expected to do well in this location.  However, on January 19, 1898 tragedy struck and the St. Elmo Hotel was burnt to the ground with about a third of the town.  (See Watkins & Van — Elite Theater for story of fire.

John Harris

John is listed in the 1898 and 1900 Great register of Voters as a Hotelkeeper.  However when the Census was taken in June of 1900, John was no longer residing in Randsburg.

White & Davis– Grand Central Hotel

In January of 1897 John White and George F. Davis of Oakland purchased a lot, for the sum of $700 cash.  The lot, which was 25 feet wide, set between the Elite Theater and the White Fawn Saloon.  Mr. Casey who sold the lot to them had just purchased it himself eight days prior for the price of $350.  He had turned it down two month earlier at $75.  The buyers were to erect a building 25 x 60 feet and two stories high.  This was the Grand Central Hotel.

In September of 1897 an article In the Bakersfield Daily Californian stated that there was some trouble over the sale of a town lot in Randsburg and that John White had made an affidavit and had recorded the following statement regarding possible litigation:

Randsburg, Kern Co.

Aug. 27, 1897

To Whom It May Concern– The deed on record, April 19, 1897, Vol., 68, from John White to George Davidson was obtained by fraud and misrepresentation and no consideration has ever been given for the same.  I herewith warn all parties to refrain from buying the same as the deed is of no value.

Pratt & Pearson (Pierson) — Occidental Hotel

The Pierson Hotel, with twenty two rooms, was mentioned as being the proposed location of the Randsburg Bank in February of 1897. Pratt & Pearson are listed in the 1898-business directory as hotelkeepers.  According to Marcia Wynn Rittenhouse in her book Desert Bonanza, Pratt & Pearson ran the Occidental Hotel that burnt in the 2nd great fire in May of 1898.

George Davidson – Grand Central Hotel

I appears that George bought the Grand Central Hotel in April of 1897 it is not known how the litigation between him and the seller John White turned out, however Mr. White was still listed as an owner when it burnt in January 1898.

Mansion (Manson) House

The Mansion House which set on Butte Ave. between the Los Angeles Hotel and Anderson’s General Merchandise Store was one of the victims of the May 1898 fire.

Gillelen & White — Grand Central Hotel

According to the Visalia Morning Daily Delta the January 19th, 1898 fire destroyed the Grand Central Hotel, owned by Gillelen & White at a loss of $1800.

Broadway Hotel

Not much is known about the Broadway Hotel other than it was mentioned in an account of the 20 January 1898 fire.  In this account the heroism of the townspeople was applauded as follows:

Many acts of real heroism were developed last night.  When hopes seemed gone, as the flames threatened the Broadway Hotel, the men faltered for a moment, then climbed upon the burning buildings and fairly tore the burning boards loose by main strength and hurled them far away, to be scattered and literally stamped out beneath the feet of the other workers.  Not a man in all that heroic band but knew that if the fire crossed the street and attacked the Broadway Hotel, the entire camp would be burned, and all worked with the energy of despair, some two or three falling from sheer exhaustion while at work.

Richard Callaghan — Los Angeles Hotel

The Los Angeles Hotel was a 30-room establishment that appears in photographs to have set on the location of the present day White House Saloon before the 1898 fires.  Roberta Starry’s book Gold Gamble states that Richard Callaghan’s boarding house set on the site of the present day White House Saloon.  The hotel according to a sign on the front was newly furnished and had a large parlor.  The Los Angeles Hotel was Richard Callaghan’s boarding house.

June 13, 1898: “John Monaghan has commenced the erection of an adobe building, ?x24, on Rand Street. It will be made as nearly fire-proof as possible. ” –The Herald

New York Hotel

While no written mention of the New York Hotel has been found, a photograph of the town before the January 1898 fire shows that there was a hotel located on Broadway with this name.

H. Standhagen

A listing for H. Standhagen appears in the 1898 business directory.  What the name of the hotel was is unknown but it could have been either the New York Hotel, the Mansion (Manson) House or the Broadway Hotel as listings of proprietors of these establishments have not been found.

Andrew Jackson Doty

Mr. Doty started business in this area in Garlock but by 1900 had moved to Randsburg and in the 1900 Census was listed as a Hotel keeper and in the Great Register of Voters as the Justice of the Peace for Randsburg.

Mrs. Jerusha P. Wilson — Southern Hotel – The Wilson House

Mrs. Wilson ran the Southern Hotel, which was owned by Pat Byrne and Tom McCarthy.  In March of 1900 The Daily Californian newspaper quoting the Randsburg Miner reported that a crowd of good fellows had gathered at the Wilson House for the purpose of serenading Jack Jones who had recently returned from Los Angeles with a bride.  The paper lamented the fact that the serenades had left the street littered with the cans and buckets they had been using in their “Serenade”.   In December of 1900 the hotel burned to the ground.

Walter L. Hicks

Mr. Hicks, a native of Virginia, reported his occupation as a restaurant keeper in the 1900 census, however in the Great Register of voters he stated that he was a hotelkeeper.

Houser Bros. –Houser Hotel

The Houser Brothers are believed to have built this Hotel in 1901.  They ran the hotel off and on and leased it at various times until they sold it in 1906 to C. A. Burcham one of the owners of the Yellow Aster Hotel.  The Yellow Aster Mining & Milling Co. had previously leased the hotel.   See Houser Bros. under the Freighters, Teamsters, Liverymen & Stables section of this book for a more detailed account of the Houser brothers.  The Houser Hotel burnt down in the 1920’s fire.

Zachery Taylor Lillard — Houser Hotel

During 1904 Mr. Lillard who started in the area in Garlock as a hotel keeper w leased the Houser Hotel.  In October of 1904 he gave up his lease and Mrs. Clark took over.

Mrs. Clark — Houser Hotel

Mrs. Clark took over the Houser Hotel in October 1904 from Mr. Lillard and ran it until Mr. Burcham purchased it from the Houser brothers in 1906.

Ernest & Dickinson –Adobe Hotel

The Adobe Hotel is thought to have been located next to the Adobe Saloon.  The Adobe Saloon and The Adobe Hotel are thought to be adjoining buildings which were ran by William Ernst who had ran the Johannesburg Hotel and William Dickinson a partner of Tom Garrity who took over from Joe Monahan in 1902 and renamed the establishments.

David Fagan –Fagan Lodging House

David Fagan listed his occupation in 1904 a running a lodging service.  In 1906 He listed is as a hotelman.  This illustrates the note made under the Boarding, Rooming, and Lodging Houses section of this book that the only difference between these and hotels was sometimes only in the mind of the proprietor. Mr. Fagan’s lodging house / hotel was located on Butte Ave. in 1903 and rooms rented for 25¢ a night.  In late January of 1904 he opened a restaurant and chophouse and is thought to have gone out of the hotel business.

In 1907 Mr. Fagan sold out his interests in Randsburg and retired to Sawtelle where he bought three lots adjoining the old soldier’s home on which he was going to build cottages.  With the income from his cottages and his $12 a month pension as veteran he intended according to the Randsburg Miner to “….. live the life of a capitalist.”

Harry H. Harthorne

Harry came to town in 1900 and was listed as druggist.  In 1904 the Great register of voters showed his occupation as a hotelman.

Yellow Aster Mining & Milling Co. — Houser Hotel

The Yellow Aster’s involvement with the Houser Hotel can be traced backed to 1904 when they leased it under the management of Zachary Lillard. They lost their lease for a year from October of 1904 to October of 1905 when Mrs. Clark was leasing the hotel.  However in October of 1905 they again took over the lease and retained Mrs. Clark to manage the hotel.  The leases appear to have run for a year.  In November of 1906 it was reported that C. A. Burcham, one of the owners of the Yellow Aster, had purchased the hotel.  When the Yellow Aster leased the hotel in 1905 it was required that all single men working for the company should board there.  A Yellow Aster paycheck in the collection of the author has a slip glued on the back listing the deductions taken before the check is issued.  There are preprinted lines for the Houser Hotel and the Rand Mercantile Co. as well as the hospital.  The check was issued in November of 1910.

T. A. Lloyd, who had previously been in business in Randsburg, returned from Tonopah, Nevada in 1907 and took over the management of the Hotel for the Yellow Aster.

In April of 1909 a liquor license was issued to C. A. Burcham for the operation of the bar at the hotel.  In 1910 it was reported that A. B. Elder had his license transferred from the Mountain View Saloon to the Houser Hotel.

Robley D. McMillan

The 1908 Great Register of Voters for Kern County shows the Mr. McMillan was a hotelkeeper in Randsburg in 1908.

Robert Lee Prewitt

The 1908 Great Register of Voters for Kern County shows the Mr. Prewitt was a hotelkeeper in Randsburg in 1908.

Albert G. Boles — Houser Hotel

The 1910 Census shows Albert Gallatin Boles as the hotel keeper at the Houser Hotel.  It appears that Mr. Boles who is shown as the Proprietor in the below picture was leasing the hotel from Mr. Burcham at this time.

Baker & Thomson — Houser Hotel

The photo below shows the Houser Hotel when G. C. Baker and D. E. Thomson were proprietors.  The author always believed that this photo had been taken just after the 1903 fire.  This assumption was based on the fact that there are vacant lots to the left of the A.O.O.U.W. hall. This is the center of the business district and these lots would not be vacant unless there had been a recent fire.  Additionally the construction material piled up across the street indicates that construction is taking place on the South side of Butte, which also burnt in the 1903 fire. However G. C. Baker is only found in the 1912 great register of voters, where he is listed as a hotelkeeper.   Therefore, as G. C. Baker is not found in 1914 Great Register of Voters and the fact that no power lines or poles from are shown leads the author to believe that this photograph was taken in either 1911 or early 1912.  This further reinforced by an article in the March 25, 1911 Randsburg Miner newspaper that states that:

“Baker & Thomson are making a large excavation in the rear of the stone building on Butte Ave.  This work has been in progress for several weeks and is being done for enlargement of the building.  A new roof is being put on the old structure and general repairs are being made.  The new addition like the original will be two stories high.  The upper stories will be divided into rooms which will be furnished as a rooming house.  The front portion of the ground floor is occupied by Wells Fargo, and a restaurant will occupy the ground floor of the new structure.”

The construction of an addition to the stone building which stood just across the street and to the left of the Houser Hotel as shown in the 1910 photo would account for the construction debris in this 1911 photo of the Houser Hotel.

Dave E. Thomson — Houser Hotel

J. H. Arnold appointed D. E. Thomson, who first came to Randsburg around 1900, deputy Constable in March of 1906.  When J. H. Arnold was shot and killed in January of 1907 he became the Constable and served in that capacity until he resigned in 1913.

A man by the name of Louis Vasquez either did not know that Dave had been the constable or just wasn’t thinking when he decided to break into the Houser Hotel in November of 1915.  Dave and his wife were aroused by the sound of breaking glass.  When Dave went to investigate and found Louis with several boxes of cigars.  He ordered him to throw up his hands which he did for several seconds and then rushed Thomson and then slipped out of the building.  Dave ordered him to halt and fired a warning shot near him.  When this failed to stop Mr. Vasquez, Dave fired again and felled the man.  Louis Vasquez, who had recently been employed at Trona, was 32 years old and left a widow and two small children.  The Coroner’s Jury found a verdict of death at the hands of D. E. Thomson while in the act of burglary.

From 1914 through 1918 Mr. Thomson is shown in the Great Register of Voters as a hotelkeeper. In October of 1919 Dave sold the hotel to a man by the name of William J. Quackenbush.

Bernice Belts — Belts Hotel & Restaurant

From 1915 to November of 1917 Mrs. Belts ran a hotel which was located on Butte Ave. where the telephone building is now located.

Dana P. Handy

According to the 1916 Great Register of Voters Mr. Handy was a hotelkeeper in Randsburg.

Louis Peter Christensen — Silver Streak Hotel

In December of 1915 it was reported in the Randsburg Miner that Victor Lypps has purchased the Maginnis Hotel from E. B. Maginnis for L. P. Christensen.  He changed the name of the hotel to the Silver Streak and ran it until his death in June of 1921.  Mr. Christensen died of his own hand, having cut his throat and locked himself in the only vacant room in the hotel.   According to the Barstow Printer stated “Temporary insanity in all probability having prompted the act of self destruction.   The funeral services were conducted by John C. Wray, the resident correspondent for the Barstow Printer as no minister was available.  Interment followed in the cemetery in Johannesburg.

Sigvart A. Otteson—Rand Hotel

Sigvart, a native of Norway, came to Randsburg sometime prior to 1910 and engaged in mining.  By 1917 he had become a hotelman.  It is not known whether he purchased of leased the hotel.

William. H. Anderson

William H. Anderson is listed in the 1920 and 1922 Great Register of Voter for Kern County as being a hotel proprietor in Randsburg.

May 12, 1919: “AUTOMOBILE STAGE MAN BUYS RANDSBURG HOTEL—Randsburg, May 12. – Bill Anderson, who operates exclusive auto passenger stage line under state railroad commission authority, from Randsburg to railroad points in Kern, San Bernardino and Inyo Counties, has purchased the Hart Hotel in Randsburg, and will operate it after May 15 in connection with the stage lines.  Benny Truman, who purchased the property in January, sold to Anderson, as his mining and ranch interests in Inyo, San Bernardino, and Kern counties occupy all his time.  The Hart Hotel being the desert headquarters for the members of automobile societies, tourists, and mining men generally, occupied practically all of Mr. Truman’s interests, which needed his attention, is the reason Truman gives for the transfer of the property, which comes as a distinct surprise to business men here and the public generally.” – Bakersfield Californian

Thomas F. Garrity

Tom Garrity was listed in the 1920 and 1922 Great Register of Voters for Kern County as being a Hotel and Restaurant proprietor.

William J. Quackenbush

Mr. Quackenbush is listed in the 1920 and 1922 Great Register of Voters as being a Hotel Proprietor.

Harvey W. Smith

According to the 1920 and 1922 Great Register of Voters Mr. Smith was a Hotel Proprietor in Randsburg.

Tim O’Conner — Silver Streak Hotel

After Mr. Louis Christensen’s untimely demise Mr. and Mrs. Tim O’Conner purchased the Silver Streak Hotel and had it refitted with modern conveniences and a first class dining room.

J. J. “Curly” Chambers– Almond Hotel and Annex

It is not known when or who built the Almond Hotel or if in fact this was the original name of the building.  The below photo is believed to be about circa 1912.  The Rand District Miner section of The Barstow Printer, for February 22, 1922 shows an advertisement for the Almond Hotel in which J. J. “Curly” Chambers was the proprietor.  After her mother, Mrs. Hackman, passed away in 1919, Betty Hadley went to live with her aunt who was employed and resided at the Almond Hotel.  This hotel was totally destroyed in the 1929 fire.

Miller & Williford — Houser Hotel

Mrs. J. H. Carmichael — Virginia Hotel

The Virginia Hotel was located on upper Butte Ave. in the approximate location of the present “Hotel” Antiques & Bed and Breakfast. It was shown on the 1917 Sanborn Fire Insurance map as having lodgings only.

C. B. Garrett- Houser Hotel

W. J. Quackenbush sold the Houser Hotel to C. B. Garrett in September of 1921.  Mr. Garrett had moved to Randsburg from El Paso Texas. 42

Mrs. E. M. Artibee — Commercial Hotel

The mining boom of 1922 created a demand for more hotels.  To help fill this demand Mrs. Artibee had the Commercial hotel built in 1922.  The Johannesburg Lumber Co. furnished the lumber for this hotel.  The building is still standing on Butte Ave. and Rooms are still being rented. The front of the building serves as an antique shop.

Mrs. Edna Bird

In the 1924 Great Register of Voters Mrs. Bird is listed as a Hotelkeeper.

Martin A. Mull

Mr. Mull is listed in the 1924 Great Register of Voters as a Hotelkeeper in Randsburg.

Mrs. Rose Worthington

Mrs. Worthington is listed in the 1924 Great Register of Voters as a Hotelkeeper in Randsburg.

Mrs. Margaret Witt

Mrs. Witt is listed in the 1924 Great Register of Voters as a Hotelkeeper in Randsburg.

This entry was posted in Randsburg, Randsburg Merchants. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

Back to top