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Experience Murphys, California

Walk down Main Street past the iron-shuttered stone buildings and the wooden Victorian houses, largely unchanged after more than a century. You'll see historic buildings, most now shops, identifiable by the unique architecture and often by plaques indicating the history.

There is the Murphys Hotel, where figures ranging from Horatio Alger to U.S. Grant have signed the register. The "Murphys Pokey", a historic jail. The E.C.V. "Wall of Comparative Ovations", plaques detailing the history of famous figures, which must be read with skepticism because of the "Clampers" fondness for pranks, part of this over-the-top fraternal society's satirical take on the stone-faced Masons.

Each shop here is unique and you won't find the same item in more than one store. Shops range from clothing and accessories to antiques, clocks, kitchenware, food, gifts, and toys.

Restaurants range from the elegant V Restaurant & Bar to the less formal Noto's for Sicilian food, Murphys Grille for Mediterranean, the Murphys Hotel for more traditional fare, and many others.

What's New: Rob's Place, an Italian restaurant, has recently opened, as has the Prospectors Brewing Company.

Tour of Historic Murphys, including blah.

Gold Rush History

In the fall of 1848, two brothers, John and Daniel Murphy, moved south from Placerville, looking for gold. They ended up in what become known as Murphy's Rich Diggings (to distinguish it from a previous Murphy mining camp), where John set up a trading tent. John Murphy became very wealthy largely by trading with the Indians who mined gold for him, and along the way married the daughter of a local Indian chief.
Murphy's Rich Diggings became known by other names, including Murphy's Flat, Murphy's Camp, and then Murphy's. Finally a postmaster removed the apostrophe to avoid confusion with other towns with the same name and it became Murphys.

The photo below is of the Murphys Hotel, looking very much like it does today, except for the horses.

For more on the history of Murphys Click Here

Wine Tasting

The Sierra foothills have developed into a significant source of wine grapes and wines. Murphys is surrounded by vineyards and wineries, and most have tasting rooms on Main Street, all within a few blocks. The first grapes were planted here during the Gold Rush. Common grape varieties grown here include Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Chardonnay. Vineyards are usually planted between 1500 and 3000 feet above sea level. There are over 100 wineries in the Sierra Foothills.

Click on the "Wine Tasting Map" button at the upper left of this page to see a map with pop-up descriptions and photos that show the tasting rooms.