Posts Tagged With: Mother Lode


The Mother Lode has an abundance of ghosts and spirits that reside or at least visit local hotels. Why hotels? Well, each has its own story. Columbia’s Fallon House, had a paranormal researcher use high tech instruments to see if they were haunted. His conclusion? “Yup, You’ve got ghosts.” Visitors and employees have reported ghosts in the Murphys Hotel, Jamestown’s National Hotel and Willow Hotel. Columbia’s City Hotel, Dorrington’s only hotel, Sonora’s Gunn House, and Groveland’s Hotel Charlotte. But, the most well known is the Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill. The ghost has been continually reported from the early gold mining days and people still get spooked in the old inn. None of the ghosts are dangerous, some hug men, others tuck you into your sheets or move things about. So, if you are looking, come on up and try one of the rooms. The employees know which rooms are most likely to experience a visit.

What gets my attention are stories from children who have no idea what sensationalism is all about. Like the 9 year old boy who told his mother, as they drove by a certain spot, on a street in their new neighborhood. “That’s where the car hit me!”   She ignored it the first time. Then, when he described being on his bike, and dying. She objected, but he was so chillingly serious she became intent on debunking and defusing his constant attention to that place. She talked to people in the neighborhood, and discovered newspaper articles about a boy who was killed in that exact manner, at that exact spot, many years earlier.

If I knew the mother? But I don’t. Still, I’ve heard a number of them and they give me pause. I have to ask myself, why would a mother put her reputation and that of her child at risk to ridicule? And what benefit does such a tale serve them? Unless it happens to me, I guess I’ll never know.

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A dead chicken can be transformed into a thing of… well… not exactly beauty. Ahm, stark raving lunitic works. This is the downtown tasting room crew for Twisted Oak Winery during Friday’s Murphys Christmas Open House. I never asked owners, Mary and Jeff Seith, why they moved a beautiful old barn from Murphys downtown, to the highway edge of their property and hung a bunch of dead rubber chickens on it. Now the rubber chicken has become a lively trade item. I swear he must have had them made to order.
Mary Seith helped Bev Bennedetto squeeze every chicken in the place. They all have different voices. It may help to imbibe a bit before you start squeezing.

If you are served a bit of Murgatroyd by a cat in a hat? Smile, you’re at Twisted Oak. In fact, this red with flavors of currant and nutmeg will keep you coming back.

I’ve eaten chicken nuggets before and I’ve seen some gold nuggets in my time, but this one…I mentioned lunitic didn’t I? At no other winery in the Mother Lode is there more fun than a visit with the twisted folk at Twisted Oak.
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