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John Crane
Chairman, Friends of the Bayley House
(530) 906-6771


Jaime Tafoya
Outreach Specialist, Friends of the Bayley House
(916) 879-6799


October 1, 2021


Pilot Hill’s Historic Bayley House restoration effort sees renewed energy, funding sources

Pilot Hill, CA – Thanks to new funding sources, Friends of the Bayley House may finally be in reach of seeing the complete restoration of the historic property.

The Bayley House was deemed California’s best example of classical revival architecture by the Historic American Building Survey. Friends of The Bayley House, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, are spearheading the grass-roots effort to restore the historic structure.

Built as a hotel in 1862 by Boston attorney Alcander John Bayley, the building has resided on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978 and was the site of California’s first Grange Hall.

“It’s an absolute gem on the ‘golden chain’ of a well-traveled Highway 49 stretching from Nevada City to Sonora,” said Jaime Tafoya, Outreach Specialist for Friends of the Bayley House. “Few, if any, historic sites remain and command attention like the Gold Rush-era Bayley House.”

John Crane, Chairman of the Friends of The Bayley House, has an engineering background. He’s also been passionately involved with the project for decades. Crane has been instrumental in the creation of detailed restoration plans and worked closely with the State Office of Historic Preservation in 2002 when the project received significant State as well as County funding.  

The building benefited from stabilization and weather proofing work overseen by the State Office of Historic Preservation.

“Structurally the building was built surprisingly well. Having withstood earthquakes, vandalism and the ravages of time over more than 150 years,” said Crane.

After a 10-year absence, Tafoya (a former Board Member) was secured as the non-profit’s new juggernaut to kickstart renewed efforts.

“Jaime has an intimate knowledge of the project and brings a passion that equals that of Crane and other longtime members. He has engaged with numerous funding sources that could provide funding as early as 2022. He has garnered membership in the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the non-profit support organization Impact Foundry, and engaged with the El Dorado County and Sacramento Community Foundations,” according to a statement released by the organization.

“This is not only a project about the small town of Pilot Hill, it also has immense importance on a regional, state and national level. Many of these historic sites go unnoticed and are eventually forgotten to time. If local citizens hadn't taken up interest, then this would be another forgotten story we tell our children,” Tafoya said.

“The efforts of Friends of the Bayley House and all involved in supporting them over the years are finally going to see significant progress,” said Crane.

Cash donations can be made via Paypal at Additionally, The Friends of the Bayley House can receive donations of non-cash investment assets.

Donate directly to Friends of the Bayley House at, P.O. Box 354, Pilot Hill, CA 95664. Tax ID: 48-1281519.


Those interested in making a non-cash donation of appreciated investment assets should contact their financial professional, or Friends of the Bayley House directly, for more information. Please visit


About the organization


The Friends of The Bayley House is a non-profit organization created to restore, preserve and protect the historic Bayley House in Pilot Hill, El Dorado County. Working in partnership with the Georgetown Divide Recreation District (the building's current owners), they have plans to restore the historic Bayley House for use as a museum and cultural center. In 2008, Phase 1 of the restoration process was completed. In 2009, the Friends of the Bayley House received a Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation.

The organization continues to raise funds through various events and grant applications. Organization volunteers are counting on corporate and private donations to continue their work.



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