The first stones for what was originally named the Curtis Hotel were laid near the dusty main street of Alturas in 1908. In 1912 Jay Eugene Niles purchased the building, completed the 2nd and 3rd floor rooms, and renamed it the Niles Hotel.
For many generations, the Niles Hotel was the social center of Alturas - - the meeting place of cattlemen, railroad workers, farmers, loggers, salesmen, tourists, and local businessmen. When the Niles Hotel was first built, each of the sixty guest rooms was furnished with a wood burning stove. During the winter, the hotel guests would keep warm in their rooms by purchasing an armload of wood at the lobby desk for two bits.
Under the ownership of Mitch and Babe Jurasevich, “modernization” arrived in the form of lowered ceilings, steam heat, private baths, and the first elevator in Modoc County. The Niles Hotel prospered through the roaring ‘20s, the Great Depression, four major wars, and the administration of fifteen American Presidents.
By the 1970s, two other large hotels in Alturas, the Warner Hotel and the Modoc Hotel, passed into history, either burning to the ground or suffering the indignity of being torn down. In 1976 the Niles Hotel, suffering from neglect, old age, and a series of disinterested owners was finally closed to the public.
In 1976, Stephen and Cheryl Baker purchased the Niles Hotel and set about the challenging task of restoring the landmark to its former glory. The restoration project took over twelve years, and an investment in antiques, labor, and materials over one million dollars.
The Bakers leased the Niles Hotel to Michelle Marymee from 1995 through 1998, after bringing the hotel back to a place of respect and beauty in the community. The John Vass family purchased the Niles Hotel in 1998.
Born out of a longing to protect a piece of community history, Jim and Elizabeth Cavasso purchased the ailing Niles Hotel in 2011. With the help of the community, family, and friends, the Niles Hotel has regained its status as a thriving historical landmark.
Come and experience the historic Niles Hotel for yourself.
By: HAILEY BRANSON-POTTS Staff Writer
Photographer: GENARO MOLINA
MAY 26, 2023 1:43 PM PT
ALTURAS, Calif. - The gals from West Sacramento swigged vodka on an antique floral couch in the Niles Hotel.
As their laughter echoed down the hallway, stern faces glowered from old black-and-white portraits in gilded frames.
The four women had driven five hours north to Alturas, a town of 2,700 in California's remote northeast corner. They were looking for adventure – and the ghost of an old prostitute said to haunt the hotel.
By: JOHN BARTELL
July 7, 2022 5:15 PM PDT
ALTURAS, Calif. — Modoc County is cattle country and Alturas is where local ranchers do all of their business. The auction yard, the courthouse and saloon are all a part of the city, and if you need a place to stay, the Niles Hotel on South Main Street is the place to do it.
Jay Eugene Niles completed the building in 1912 after the previous owner ran out of money. For decades the hotel was the social center of Alturas. It was a place where cattleman, railroad workers and travelers of all kinds did business and found entertainment.