Georgetown in El Dorado County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Balsar House / I.O.O.F Hall
[Three small markers are mounted on the front of the building:]
A hotel built in 1850 by
Erected 1859 by a butcher Joseph Olmstead
Erected at a cost of $15,000
In 1889 it was bought by I.O.O.F.
Balsar House 1859
El Dorado County
Erected by El Dorado Chapter 186, N.D.G.W., and Growlersburg Chapter 86, E Clampus Vitus. (Marker Number 17.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus, and the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
Location. 38° 54.324′ N, 120° 50.386′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, California, in El Dorado County. Marker is on Lower Main Street (aka Wentworth Springs Road), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The building sits on the northeast corner of Lower Main Street and Georgetown Road (California
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Shannon Knox House (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Armory (within shouting distance of this marker); Georgetown Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wells Fargo Building (about 300 feet away); Georgetown Volunteer Firemen (about 500 feet away); Chief Jack Anderson (about 500 feet away); Georgetown (about 500 feet away); Georgetown Firehouse (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
Regarding Balsar House / I.O.O.F Hall. Eliza Balsar bought a burnt out building and lot following the fire of 1858 and constructed what was to become one of the most remodeled buildings in Georgetown. Her hotel, completed in 1859, had guest rooms and restaurant on the ground floor, guest rooms on the second floor and a third story dance hall. The business was not successful and the building was sold twice and remodeled in 1862 when a book store and vendor room were added.
Joseph Whiteside bought it in 1878, removed the top two floors and converted the rest to an opera house. William Lane and Harmon Sornberger bought that
The I.O.O.F. bought the hall for a meeting house in 1878. They added a second story. The first floor was used as a public meeting room, church and funeral parlor.
A tower at the roof peak was used to house a bell which summoned mourners, worshipers and the fire department, until confusion over who was actually being summoned decreed the bell to be moved to the firehouse.
Source: Georgetown Walking Tour Brochure
Categories. • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Notable Buildings • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 24, 2012, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 626 times since then. Last updated on April 24, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 24, 2012, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.