Historic Structures: Fallon Hotel 1859

The Fallon Hotel Complex has a long and complicated history. It is really the history of four separate structures. The current hotel building, what is now the theater, the theater box office and finally the ice cream parlor all have interesting and distinct histories.

From 1852 until Owen Fallon constructed a brick boarding house in 1859, there were a number of wooden structures on this property. In 1863 there was another brick structure just to the east of Fallon’s building. In that year Fallon cut a hole in his east wall and joined the buildings. He then turned the second floor into a ball room and began to use the name “Fallon Hotel.” In 1863 the rose garden was constructed and in 1871 the upstairs was turned into more rooms for the hotel.

In 1885 James G. Fallon inherited the hotel. James Fallon turned what is now the ice cream parlor into a bar in 1886 and then deeded the property to Rose Gallagher in 1887. Gallagher soon sold to Tom Conlin, who moved the Wells Fargo office into the hotel.

From 1890 until 1944 the hotel was owned by a number of people and was known by many names. Some of the names were, “Kress Hotel”, “Columbia Hotel and Opera House”, “Smith Hotel” and “Columbia Inn.”

In 1944 the structure was owned by Robert and Grace Burns. Robert Burns was the President of the University of Pacific. After the State Parks bought the property for one dollar in 1947, it was used as a residence for UOP drama students during the summer. UOP performed summer theatrical presentations in the theater.

In 1986 the entire structure was restored and reopened as the Fallon Hotel. It is operated by the Columbia City Hotel Cooperation.

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