By Michael Raffety
Almost a year ago I did a column on the Hotel Thomas after Ken Deibert’s historical review of the Mountain Democrat files reran a 1915 ad for it as it appeared in our paper back then. I went looking for the hotel the next time I was in San Francisco and found it to be a parking lot.
Then two weeks ago I received more precise information on its demise from Sacramento resident Barbara Pompei:
“I was searching for info on the Hotel Thomas in SF and Google brought up your article about looking for it.
“I can’t recall where but I found an article about how it burned in about 1920s….and many died and had to be labeled ‘John Doe.’
“My interest was because in the 1920 census I find a John T. Price, a distant genealogy connection, and I’m sure that’s him. I can’t find a burial for him so he may have been a fire victim.
“His daughter, Stella V. Price, married William A. Langley, in Sacramento – who was my husband’s grandfather. Stella died young (childbirth?) and Wm. went on to remarry and had children.
“That’s it – just thought I’d pass that little anecdote along since we’re both following the Hotel Thomas.”
That’s certainly more dramatic and tragic than my assumption that it was simply torn down for a parking lot.