Located in Pilot Hill and fronting Hwy 49, the decrepit brick Bayley House has fallen into disrepair, although it used to be a beautiful 3 story hotel and wine-making facility. Built in 1862 by Assemblyman, attorney and entrepreneur A.J.Bayley, he built this large hotel hoping to capitalize on overnight railroad travelers. Later he turned it into his private residence when the train was instead routed through Auburn. It hosted such notables as the “Big Four” railroad barons; Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, and Collis Huntington.
Built with 300,000 bricks that were made on location along the John Fremont Trail between Placerville and Auburn (now known as Hwy. 49) the Bayley House encompasses 10,000 square feet and has 22 small rooms. A circular staircase climbs to the the Grand Ballroom, and at the top is the “widow’s walk”, offering panoramic views of the Sacramento Valley, Sierra foothills, and nearby towns.
In 1978 the Old Bayley House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Friends of the Bayley House in Pilot Hill are raising money for the Bayley House Restoration Project by selling old bricks that were made on-site in 1862. They are laser engraved with the words “Bayley House” and all of the proceeds go directly towards meeting their non-profit’s goal of raising $100,000. The bricks are very attractive, can be purchased for a minimum donation of $25, and should be available for purchase by November 12. Go to http://www.bayleyhouse.net/ for more details about the restoration, or to purchase bricks.