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The Hotel de France was purchased by George Leger in 1853, and was reconstructed as a one-story stone structure after the 1854 fire. Twenty years later in 1874, the current two-story building was built and incorporated the former Courthouse on the north side. It has served as the social center of town for over 160 year.
The Hotel is one of the oldest continuously-operating hotels in California. The basement of the Hotel Léger was the first meeting place of E Clampus Vitus. The Calaveras County Courthouse now incorporated into the Hotel was the county seat at the time. This occurred when the county seat was moved to San Andreas in 1866, Léger bought the court building and incorporated into his hotel. One reason was that it was made of stone and thus had survived two fires that had ravaged the town previously.
After restoration following another fire in 1874, the hotel became known as the Hotel Léger, and it has been in operation ever since. The bar, which features a stained-glass back bar with the date 1851 in it, reportedly came around Cape Horn and has been in continuous use.
The former courthouse building was also the location of the county jail, and remnants of the jail cells can still be seen in the building’s cellar.
The hotel has the reputation of being haunted by ghosts. Guests and employees have claimed seeing Léger himself as well as other people. “The ghost of George Leger, who was assassinated in the Hotel in 1879, has been seen in the saloon and in many of the Hotel’s thirteen rooms, which are furnished in period antiques. Other ghosts in the Hotel include the Lady in White in Room 2 and a young boy in Room 3.”
More recent, and possibly more authentic, claims of ghostly sightings describe George Leger wandering Room 7, a woman crying for her child in Room 2, a child playing by the fireplace in Room 3. A former owner of the Hotel Leger describes seeing smoke and fire in the bar area multiple times when no fire was present upon closer inspection.
We investigated Hotel Leger back on August 26, 2009 and again on Sept 26, 2013. After two investigations we still believe there is Paranormal activity at this location.
Our report will be coming soon.
Be sure to check out the Photo Gallery below for some amazing photos.