THE NATIONAL EXCHANGE

TNE NATIONAL HOTEL is the oldest continuously-running hotel west of the Rocky Mountains.  Built in 1852, it has played host to many celebrities, including five different U.S. Presidents, Mark Twain, and a bevy of movie stars.  Many thanks to Tom Coleman, owner of the hotel, for allowing us to film there.


HENRY PLUMMER--WAS the sheriff of Nevada (City) in 1956.  He was considered one of the fastest and deadliest shooters in the pre-Civil War era.  Henry shot a man who was roughing up his wife, then got into trouble for it when it came out that Henry and the man's wife were "involved".  Henry went away to prison for three years, then came back to Nevada City.  While no longer sheriff, he tried to make a citizen's arrest of another man.  The man pulled a knife and cut Henry on the forehead--and Henry shot him.  Henry decided to get out of town at that point.  A few years later he was the sheriff of Bannock, Montana.  He made the mistake of going up against the Montana Vigilantes, who had lynched 24 people in one month.  He should have avoided that.  They said he was a bad guy and lynched Henry as well..


RAFAEL ESCOBAR:  Was a Mexican bandit.  Implicated in the Rancheria Massacre, he also was lynched--twice.  The first lynching didn't take, so they cut him down, gave him a shot of brandy, then lynched him again.  The second time worked.


CHARLES EARL BOLES:  A very interesting character.  He joined the Union to fight in the Civil War and distinguished himself, rising from private to first lieutenant before mustering out as first sergeant at the end of the war.  He was gravely wounded at Vicksburg and nearly died, but came back in time to join Sherman's march to the sea.  After the war, he was working a gold claim that was producing fairly well.  Wells & Fargo tried to buy it, but Charley wouldn't sell, so they bought all around him and cut off his water.  He wrote to his wife, Mary, that he would avenge that action and he did.  Between 1875 and 1883 he robbed the Wells Fargo stage 28 times as Black Bart.  After his capture, he served four years of a six year sentence and was released in 1888.  The Pinkerton detectives followed him constantly, but he managed to elude them after checking into the Palace Hotel in Visalia, CA in February 1888.  Then he made his way to Nevada City.  While operating as Black Bart, he had occasionally worked for James Reader at the Reader Ranch, outside of town.  Charley asked James Reader if he could collect some "things" he'd left there at the ranch.  Reader agreed.  After collecting his "things" and leaving the Reader Ranch, Charley was never heard from again...