George and John Hunsucker
George and John Hunsucker arrived in California as gold seekers during the original Gold Rush to California.
They, most likely, worked in many mining camps before settling near Georgetown. They owned or had shares in mines in Kelsey, Spanish
Flat, and Georgetown Divide Mining District, along with other business interest in Georgetown. In 1863, they sold the Plymouth Quartz
Mining Company in Kelsey, which was the consolation of seven claims owned by the brothers and Clark Potter.
Perhaps their most important
early enterprise was the "Frazier Claim" or "Deep Hole" mine that the M. S. Frazier & Company operated. The owners of this
claim consisted of George Hunsucker, John Hunsucker, Jonathan Kennedy, and Amos Blundell. It was reported that more than $100,000
(1860 dollars) in gold was taken out of this claim. In 1860, miners sold their gold for $21 per ounce, while today gold is sold for
more than $900 per ounce. This successful mine would have given the brothers the money to invest in other business opportunities such
as Rubicon Soda Springs.
In the late 1860s, George and John built the first cabin in the Rubicon Valley along the east side of the
Rubicon River. They established a seasonal stopping station on the Rubicon Road called “Hunsaker Springs”. Additionally, the brothers
bottled the spring water and cut hay for sale at Lake Tahoe and Virginia City, Nevada. George Hunsucker obtained the deed for Rubicon
Springs from the Central Pacific Railroad Company on November 29, 1887. The transaction was completed for $100 and included 40 acres.
The Hunsuckers did not obtain title for their property until, at least, 20 years after they had begun occupying it.
During the same
year, Clark Potter, a fellow miner, died in Georgetown after a long illness. Potter had built a cabin near a small mineral spring
3/4 of mile southeast of Rubicon Springs. George Hunsucker was one of three people assigned by the court to give an appraisal of Clark
Potter’s estate. This included the nearby 80 acres, then called “Potter’s Springs,” on the east bank of the Rubicon River, southeast
and upstream from Rubicon Springs.
George Hunsucker sold the 40 acres of Rubicon Springs on December 8, 1888 to Sierra Nevada “Vade”
Clark for $5,500 in gold coins. In the winter of 1895, George Hunsucker would buy back the 40 acres of Rubicon Springs and its then
completed hotel for $3,800 in gold coins. It would take the brothers two seasons to resell the property. In the spring of 1898, they
sold it to Daniel Abbott of San Jose, California, for $2000 in gold coins. The sale included the original 40 acres of Rubicon Springs,
the hotel, and all personal property associated with the operation of the hotel at the close of the 1897 season. Historical research
has not yet determined if Daniel Abbott was an old mining friend who had left the gold rush country and settled in San Jose or an
unknown investor. Although the brothers would no longer be involved in Rubicon Springs, they stayed near Georgetown where, among other
interests, they were part owners of the American Hotel. The probate administrator, C.P. Winchele, sold the last property of their
estate in June of 1906.