Around 2am on June 15th, 2020 the American Hotel burned down at Cerro Gordo.
Devastating doesn’t reflect all the hurt we’re feeling up here on the mountain. It’s even difficult to write this through many tears. It’s been an extremely emotional time and we’re not quite sure the words, but here we are. We need help.
Our goal has always been to share Cerro Gordo with you all. To let everyone experience the beauty and history that this town holds. We’ve been working around the clock the past months trying to get it ready. The American Hotel was the crown jewel of Cerro Gordo. And now it’s gone.
The fire also claimed the Crapo House and the Ice House which neighbored the American Hotel. The flames came within 5 ft of the Gordon Mansion but using every drop of water in town we were able to hold back the fire until the fire department could arrive.
The cause of the fire is unknown. The common assessment right now is old electrical wiring and paper thin, dry wood. We don’t yet know.
What we do know is that we need help. We really need help. In a time where there are so many larger causes, we know an old building might be top of list to assist, but this town means a lot to a lot of people and we were hoping a lot of people can help bring it back to life.
We have the original plans and blueprints for the hotel and what we are planning on doing with the raised funds is make it better than ever, bring it back to a version of the glory days. No, it won’t be original wood, but it will be the original design and up to modern code, so people can actually stay in the American Hotel and cook and eat meals at the Saloon.
Many historical relics, like Machu Picchu in Peru, are partly restored and partly original, which makes visiting and celebrating history and culture easier, and when built on the original grounds, as we plan to do with the American Hotel, is the only way to continue to celebrate its rich history.
Any amount you could donate would be greatly appreciated and will go to the rebuilding efforts in it’s entirety. Your support, big or small, means the world to us and we hope one day to host you back at the American Hotel.
NOTE: The Friends of Cerro Gordo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and registered with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charities. So donations are tax deductible. Donors should check with their employers to see if they match an employee’s gift to a qualified charity such as FOCG.
Cerro Gordo was originally established in 1865. By 1868, it was California's largest producer of silver.
In 1869, The Los Angeles News praised Cerro Gordo for helping expand Los Angeles and voiced the city’s dependence on the mine, “What Los Angeles is, is mainly due to it. It is the silver cord that binds our present existence. Should it be uncomfortably severed, we would inevitably collapse.”
This historic town is our love. We've been in the process of restoring it to allow more people to experience the natural beauty and history of Cerro Gordo. With your help, we can still make this a reality, even through the tragedy.