By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
He's soft-spoken, and usually wears well-worn jeans, a plaid shirt and a baseball cap. His boots might be muddy and his border collie, Lacy, will most likely be at his side.
But don't be fooled by the attire and short, scruffy beard. Dorian Faught is far from laid back.
In fact, he's always on the lookout for a new adventure from traveling to China to see the Great Wall in person to trying his hand at a new business.
Faught, who has lived in the same house on Finnegan Lane for 33 years, has been an Angels Camp city councilman and a member of the Utica Power Authority board of directors.
He's made his living through a series of endeavors, from remodeling and selling fixer-upper houses to planting and nurturing a small zinfandel vineyard.
He started out with a body shop, added a towing business, became a Main Street landlord, built Grubstake Storage north of Angels Camp and planted Crystal Terrace Vineyards south of town.
He's traveled to Peru and Guatemala, and hunted in Idaho, Montana and Oregon. Egypt is on his to-do list.
But at 56, he's now in the middle of a new adventure much closer to home.
On Oct. 17, Faught bought the Murphys Hotel, the historic limestone building on Murphys' Main Street where luminaries of the 19th century from President Ulysses S. Grant and J.P. Morgan to Daniel Webster and Mark Twain stayed when they ventured to the Mother Lode.
He bought the hotel, in part, to keep busy.
"The vineyard turned out to be a little more quiet time than I wanted," Faught said. "I ended up telling all my stories to my dog."
Faught said he'd toyed with the idea of a restaurant/bar business and shopped around Angels Camp, looking at buildings and businesses. During his search, he heard the Murphys Hotel was for sale.
"It's a much bigger job than I wanted, but I thought, 'what a perfect opportunity.' A successful Main Street (establishment) in the fastest growing commercial entity in the county and 5 acres on Murphys Creek. My instincts say this is a great investment," he said.