The St. George Hotel in the historic gold mining town of Volcano in Amador County has been operating since 1867. The three story Greek Revival building with wrap-around porches is the first structure seen upon entering Volcano and is the only hotel in Volcano built during the 1800s that is still open. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
The St. George Hotel is on the site of three previous hotels that were destroyed by fire. The hotel is named St. George to "thwart the demonic Fire Dragon." The hotel mostly served miners in the area, and has since provided travelers and tourists to the area with lodging and food. Today the hotel is a popular location for weddings and receptions and continues to provide lodging in the historic main building and a pet-friendly cottage. The Whiskey Flat Saloon and the St. George Restaurant offer visitors libations and food. The hotel is also known for its relaxing, landscaped yard that slopes toward Sutter Creek.
In 1880, the Hotel was purchased by the County Assessor of Amador County, A. Perry. When the hotel was purchased, it was known as one of the best hotels in Amador County. Perry's background was typical of many people who came to the Mother Lode. Originally from Ohio, He and his family traveled by ox and wagon from the Midwest. They reached Volcano in 1853 and Perry set out to strike it rich from gold mining. He was unsuccessful as a miner, and engaged in several disappointing business ventures before purchasing the hotel. He operated the St. George until 1883. The Hotel has changed hands several times since then, and owners in the 1930s and 1950s made small alterations to the Hotel and the grounds.
The town of Volcano has an interesting past. The town was settled by soldiers who were mining for gold in 1848, and was originally called Soldier's Gulch. In 1850 the town's name was changed to Volcano due to the bowl-like topography of the area. As gold became harder to find, the town's population declined from it's height of 5,000 residents. Italian immigrants began to settle the area, and today many of their descendents still own land in the region.
The Hotel was added to the National Register for it's structural integrity and because it is an excellent example of Gold Country architecture. The Greek Revival influences are a frequent feature in Gold Rush Era architecture. The hotel also has architectural aspects that were added to adapt to the area: the main hotel building is made of a 14-inch thick brick wall which was built so the building would not burn in a fire, and in 1932 the roof was modified with a truncated hipped metal roof to accommodate snow.
The St. George Hotel is centrally located to a number of nearby attractions. The Volcano Theater Company, the Black Chasm Cavern, the Amador Flower Farm, and the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park are located nearby.
The St. George Hotel is located at 16104 Main Street in Volcano.
The eastern slope of Amador County begins at Kirkwood’s historic stage stop. The relatively narrow county is aligned between the Mokelumne and Cosumnes rivers and roughly follows an important emigrant trail route. Amador County was once a rich gold mining county, and many of the county’s towns began as gold mining camps. The largest Native American grinding stone with 1,185 mortar holes and dozens of petroglyphs is in Amador County at the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, which also houses the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum. Amador County has a booming wine country with over 35 small wineries in the foothills.