The Union Democrat

More than 160 years after it was first built to house Gold Rush-era miners, the Hotel Jeffery in Coulterville has reopened following a three-month renovation.

New owners Forrest Monk and Sara Zahn say they have been working to thoroughly clean the rooms, restore old woodwork and fixtures, and bring in dozens of antiques from the 1800s.

The hotel, restaurant and saloon had been closed for more than two

years after the property was foreclosed, Monk said. He and Zahn, who

have been partners in a pet cardiology business for the past nine

years, officially took over ownership of the building only two weeks


The hotel burned down twice in the 1800s, but still remains one of

the oldest buildings in the foothills, with one of the longest running

saloons in the state, Monk said.

The 20-room hotel has a variety of living quarters. Some rooms have

their own bathrooms while others share "European-style" facilities. The

owners have furnished the rooms with antique lights and chairs and have

installed hand crank phones that still work. Zahn refinished the

hotel's 40-foot-long wooden bar, which was built in 1888.

"We had a definite vision of what we wanted to see here," Monk said.

The hotel has five employees, but Monk said he plans to hire more in the future as business begins to pick up.

Rooms cost from $54 for a standard room to $229 per night for a

double suite with sitting room. But if you're planning on staying in

room 22, beware. Legend has it the room is haunted, Monk said.

Patrons have seen and heard numerous unexplained phenomenon related

to room 22, he said. All of the rooms are carpeted, but still some

visitors swear they can hear the unmistakable clank of spurred boots on

the wood floors, Monk said.

A mysterious blood stain was found on the hardwood floor beneath

the carpeting, and a hotel picture shows the silhouetted figure of a

1800s man standing next to the room with his hand on his hip.

"They say this place is haunted," Monk said. "People have seen a miner ghost standing at the bar."

Far from being spooked by its ghostly reputation, the Hotel Jeffery

makes ghost-hunting part of the experience. Monk said that visitors who

stay in room 22 receive a box with spectre-finding equipment like an

EMF detector, motion sensors and recording devices.

Beyond the paranormal, the hotel has several attractions to keep

visitors entertained. On Saturdays actors will feign an impromptu gun

battle in the hotel saloon. He said many tourists from countries like

Germany and Spain are surprised by the rough and tumble display.

"They get a little spooked when people come in and start firing," Monk said. "It's a lot of fun."

The Hotel Jeffery is at 5001 Main St., off Highway 132 in Coulterville.

For more information, call 593-5880 or visit

Contact Ryan Campbell at or 588-4526.