Supervisors weigh in on Romaggi house

June 17, 2003 12:00 am

Supervisors weigh in on Romaggi house

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Listing the Romaggi adobe house, south of downtown Angels Camp on Highway 49, on the National Register of Historic Places now has the support of Calaveras County supervisors.

The National Park Service will decide later whether the Romaggi house goes on the register.

The national designation would open up more possibilities for grants to repair and restore the ailing house.

Built in 1852 by Italian immigrant James Romaggi, the two-story stone structure served as a boarding house for gold prospectors and travelers, a grocery store, card room and a bar.

At the time, the area surrounding the house was the boomtown of Albany Flat. The town was home to about 3,000 gold prospectors.

The Romaggi house was abandoned in the 1930s. Its windows and door casings are still square after a century and a half of hot summers and wet winters, but it is in a state of decay.

Angels Camp resident Adrian Nestor, who started the Save the Romaggi Adobe Foundation, completed and mailed in the application to include the house on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nestor plans to someday turn the old house into a museum to remember Gold Rush families. His foundation owns most of the property now and is close to acquiring the rest of it from another landowner, he said.

The county board, which voted yesterday to support the listing for the venerable building, had more than one structural issue on the agenda.

Supervisors also held an afternoon study session to discuss the county's zoning code, which is in the process of being updated.

The code has only been revised twice since it was adopted in 1961.

Updating the zoning code would clarify the process that county residents must follow to build projects on their properties.

The zoning code also defines how properties can be used, as well as what types of businesses a person could operate from his or her property.