Center and Main Streets

Jul 13, 2013 by

Center and Main Streets

The heart of historic Mokelumne Hill is at the intersection of Main and Center Streets, and each building has its unique story. The three-story IOOF Hall was first erected as a two story stone building by Adams and Company bankers shortly after the fire of 1854 left much of the town in ashes. By 1860 it was purchased by the Mokelumne Hill I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 44 and the third story was added in 1861. Throughout the years the building was shared by various fraternal organizations, the Wells Fargo Express Co., and town merchants.

To the right of the I.O.O.F. Hall was Daniel Lamphear’s United States Hotel (1854) which evolved to the Golden Eagle Hotel (1863), the Mariposa Hotel and finally to the Peek Inn. This last business operated until the 1940’s and carried the name of the pioneering families of W. P. and S. C. Peek.

Across Sturges Alley (Peek Circle) was the two-story stone store built and operated by H. M. Sturges in 1854. After several changes in ownership it was purchased and operated by the Frank W. Peek family as a general merchandise store and post office from the 1880s through the 1920s. In the photo on this page, behind the Sturges building can be seen the steeple of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: founded in 1895 and gone by 1940. The Lombardi and Danz blacksmith shop glimpsed on the far right of the photo is the present site of the town’s Library and Archive. (Courtesy Mokelumne Hill History Society)

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