Alhambra Hotel

Eight men posing in front of the Alhambra Hotel next to a large gaslight, purportedly the first in town, c. 1887. H.B. Seavey, the owner, is standing third from the left wearing a beard and vest without a coat. A tall flagpole, attached to the eave of the false front, sits on the second-story balcony. The balcony is constructed with crossed rails. A hitching post is attached to the board sidewalk along the street. (Nannie Escola, Nannie Escola  Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

The Alhambra Hotel, also known as Seavey’s Hotel, was located on the north side of Main Street, where the building that houses Prentice Gallery sits today. Hiram Brooks Seavey and Cy Galbraith purchased Duncan Walker’s Saloon and Restaurant, a two-story building on this site, after Walker died suddenly of tuberculosis in 1883. In October 1884, Seavey bought out Galbraith’s 1/2 interest in the business for $1,200 in gold coin.

In 1887, the Alhambra Hotel became the first establishment in Mendocino to use gas lights. The hotel was also the location of the first telephone in town.

Over the years, Seavey and his wife Kate expanded the size of the hotel. In 1891, the Beacon reported, “Since the Hotel Alhambra has increased its room by the addition of an adjacent building it makes one of the most convenient and commodious hotels on the coast. The proprietor, H. B. Seavey, is a first-class caterer, and the Alhambra, with additional sunny rooms, has become the home for the commercial traveling public who call at Mendocino.” As their business continued to expand, the Seaveys added an 18’x22’ addition to the hotel and rented the house next door to provide even more rooms in 1893.

Although H. B. died in 1899, the hotel continued until Kate passed away in 1920. The building was dismantled in 1923 by architect and builder Charles Whited of Willits, who used some of the materials in the 1924 construction, on the same site, of a new bungalow-style home and adjoining dental office for his son, Dr. Carl Vincent Whited.

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