A portion of this building served as the Calaveras County Courthouse from 1852 to 1866 in Mokelumne Hill, when the county seat was moved to San Andreas. George W. Leger then acquired the court building and made it a part of his adjoining hotel, which has been in use since the early gold mining days. It was known as the Grand Hotel in 1874 when fire damaged it and destroyed its dance hall. It was restored in 1879, and has since been known as the Leger Hotel. The bar features a stained-glass back bar dated 1851, reportedly brought around South America's Cape Horn and has been in continuous use. It has also been rumored that the stained glass is from a San Francisco Victorian home. This building is one of the oldest continuously-operating hotel in California.
The former courthouse building was also the location of the county jail, and remnants of the jail cells can still be seen in the building's cellar. The building is reported to be haunted and has been featured on The Travel Channel's show Ghost Stories and the Discovery Channel's Lost Legends.
The Leger Hotel is located at 8304 Main Street in Mokelumne Hill.
Along with Mark Twain’s famous "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" story that spun into an annual fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, Calaveras County is rich with Gold Rush history and folklore. Remnants of the railroads and Hispanic culture add to the charm of the county located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a preserve of Giant Sequoia trees, and the uncommon gold telluride mineral Calaverite was discovered in the county in 1861, and is named for it.
Calaveras is a Spanish word meaning "skull." The name was first given to the river because of the great quantities of human skulls found along the lower reaches of the river.
Calaveras County is famous for its lode and placer mines, and the largest gold nugget from the United States was taken from the Morgan Mine at Carson Hill in 1854, weighing 214 pounds. For many years it was the principal copper-producing county in California. Cement deposits from its vast limestone deposits has become one of the county's major industries in recent years.