Once simply called “The Hill,” now Moke Hill to the locals – Mokelumne Hill is a gem of a small town brimming with Gold Rush history, charm and friendly faces. You can easily miss it if you’re traveling Highway 49 at the north end of Calaveras County and don’t turn off into historic downtown. So make a point to stop in and experience some of our favorite things to do in town.
Take a walk – the first thing you might want to do is just park the car and stroll. The hilly streets, lined with gorgeous old homes, fruit trees and historic buildings will get the blood and the imagination flowing. Browse the stone façades of the three story brick Odd Fellows Hall and Blacksmith Shop, or the classic wooden Town Hall.
The Hotel Leger, Whitewater Grill and Saloon – The storied Hotel Leger building once housed the Calaveras County courthouse when Moke Hill was the county seat of government. Now you can book a room and enjoy the atmosphere as well as the new menu in the hotel’s Whitewater Grill. Thirsty? Step up to the bar in the historic saloon or relax in the shade by the hotel’s backyard pool. The hotel is said to be the home of many spirits from the past as well, and the will rent you a free ghost hunting kit so you can explore the haunts for yourself!
Breakfast at Frank’s Café, the omelettes and hash browns are a big hit!
Take an art class at Acme Art or Petroglyphe Gallery – Acme Art is a new creative space run by award winning artists Anne Cook and Will Mosgrove, offering community based workshops in everything from photography to jewelry making to collage. Petroglyph Gallery features two and three dimensional original works by both local and international artists, as well as monthly artist demonstrations and workshops.
The Historical Society building, which doubles as the library, has a wealth of local history inside its walls – not to mention free WiFi. Now through August 6 you can stop in to learn the story of Edith Irvine, one of Calaveras County’s earliest photographers, who documented life here in the late 1800s and turn of the century. She was headed for a steamer ship in San Francisco in 1906 on the day of the great earthquake – which changed her plans, and instead she made some of the most graphic and iconic images of the quake’s aftermath.
Shop main street treasures at Dixie’s Feather Your Nest, a boutique style shop with high-end “previously enjoyed” clothing and an outdoor courtyard with plants and yard art. A couple doors down is McHale’s Revival Shop – dedicated to vintage and collectible items. Don’t miss the chance to sample the tasty treats at Moke Hill Nuts, next door to Acme Art. They’ve got everything from chocolate covered to savory and spicy nuts, great as gifts or snacking on the move. Check the library…. even when it’s closed, second-hand books are for sale on the honor system on the front porch.
Taste wine and hang with locals and visitors under the arbors at Renegade Winery. Specializing in Old World style reds, they currently offer nine reds (including two Ports) and one white. It’s a favorite spot on Friday evenings in the summer.