Pilot Hill is located on Highway 49 only four miles south of Cool and 19 miles north of Placerville. Pilot Hill was named by the early explorer John C. Fremont and became the site of the first grange hall in California in 1880. During the Gold Rush era, a bonfire was lighted on the highest peak in Pilot Hill. This peak was known as Pilot Hill Lookout. The bonfire was a beacon used by travelers and merchants transporting their wares to the miners from the Sacramento Valley. The Pilot Hill Lookout remains in use by the California Dept. of Forestry.
A notable historical building in Pilot Hill is the Bayley House, a three-story brick hotel built in 1862 by Alcander A. Bayley. He built the extravagant 24 room inn to serve as a stage stop and hotel. The building was built to service a proposed railroad which was diverted to Auburn and the hotel never enjoyed the success it deserved. It remained in the Bayley family as their home until after the turn of the century and stands now as a reminder of the Gold Rush era which was so vital to the area.
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