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A Brief History of Nevada City and Piety Hill
W/Intro to the Innkeepers

About Piety Hill Cottages Motel and Bed and Breakfast

Piety Hill Cottages was built in 1933 as a motor court motel. This was during the height of the depression. It is one of the oldest, continuously operating hostelries in Nevada County. It was purchased on March 1, 2006, by the current owner, with a severe case of "deferred maintenance" sitting on its shoulders. Most of the cottages have been partially or completely redecorated or remodeled. Trees and bushes that once held the driveway and grounds hostage have been manicured so that one can actually see from one end of the campus to the other.
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The Business District

The city of Nevada City is comprised of the Seven Hills Business District, one of which is called Piety Hill. Rumor has it that it got its name because the downtown area, made almost entirely of wood, burned down twice, once in 1856 and again in 1863 taking one of the community churches out both times. The Pastor of the church decided to build his new church in an area that had not burned and soon after, the church's parishioners began to move up onto the hill so as not to have to cross the, then wooden, Pine St. Bridge in the snow with their families piled into a horse drawn carriage. Before long, the area became known to the residents that were still in downtown Nevada City, as Piety Hill (this is where all the church goers "the pious ones" had moved to). Many of the streets here still bear their earlier biblical names.

Nevada City

Nevada City, once a bustling "gold fever" town was originally called "Nevada" meaning snow-covered. When the State of Nevada was incorporated to Statehood, Nevada, California changed its name to Nevada City (1856).
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Piety Hill's Roots

Piety Hill Cottages, when first built in 1933, was called "Feil's Motel" and was built to fill the need for a "one stop motor court". Sacramento St. was once a main thoroughfare called Nevada City Hwy (Hwy 20) and was one of the only roads that one could take clear from the west coast to the Truckee/Tahoe area and the Donner Pass (yes, the one famous for the Donner Party Cannibalism) and on into the state of Nevada via, what is now known as, Interstate Hwy 80.

The property had a cafe/soda fountain and a small country store (where the office is now). It also had a large tenement building on the rear of the property to house migrant farm workers and holdover gold miners. (There's still lotsa gold in them thar hills). The tenement building was torn down many years ago and the White Birch and Apple Blossom Cottages were added to the remaining seven motel rooms. The current laundry room and storage facility was once a laundry room and outhouse complete with 2 shower stalls. Some of the cottages had private bathrooms and rented for a premium, where now, all the cottages have them.

The Cottages have had at least 6 owners since inception. It wasn't until the 1970's that it became Piety Hill Inn and later changed to Piety Hill Cottages Bed and Breakfast.

Each lodging cottage is named for the type of tree that it is nearest to (for the most part).

Every cottage is unique in that each has a different theme and decor from one another, ranging from a Fishing Cabin and Early American Farmhouse to French and English country.

These cottages, in close proximity to Lake Tahoe, can accommodate from 2-6 guests and are located within a 7-10 minute walk from the Historic downtown shopping and dinning district.

Nevada City and Grass Valley host a multitude of events that make year-round activities easily accessible to all.

Enjoy your vacation getaway in Nevada City.

Micheal Trenberth, Innkeeper 

About the Innkeeper

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Hello and Thank You for exploring our web site. My name is Micheal Trenberth. Piety Hill Cottages and Bed & Breakfast was purchased in March of 2006. The photo above was taken in late winter of 2007. The property was in a severe state of "deferred maintenance" and has been undergoing renovation ever since.

I grew up in and around the Greater Los Angeles area. I was a Hairdresser in Southern California from June of 1975 thru February of 2006, Founder and CEO of Onsen Day Spas and Salons, Inc. and simultaneously taught as Adjunct Faculty at Riverside Community College in the Cosmetology Dept. for the last 10 years before moving to Nevada City.

My goal is to provide our guests with an affordable and semi-secluded "staycation" with access to the wonders of The Tahoe National Forest and Historic Nevada City within walking distance. Please introduce yourself while staying with us and let me know if there is anything that we can do to make your stay more enjoyable!

Sharon Mills, General Manager

Sharon has been with Piety Hill Cottages since late September of 2006. She came here from Houston Texas, fell in love with Nevada City and has been a permanent resident ever since. When Sharon is on the property, the atmosphere is effervescent.

We look forward to serving you!

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What Our Guest Say

For us, it happened to be a special, romantic weekend celebration, but I would stay here again under any circumstances. There were many adorable little details about this cottage – more than I can possibly list. Next time, I will take some photos. We stayed in the Chestnut cottage. We got the last cottage available, which just saved us the trouble of choosing one. It was accurately described, including the smallish shower (unimportant to us). It was fun to be able to walk into Nevada City & we got lots of helpful, insider information about the town from our friendly hosts. We skipped the breakfasts so I can’t review those. But the yummy coffee and half & half in the kitchen were extra enjoyable. Our cottage was perfectly preheated when we arrived. We stayed 2 nights. It was so quiet that it would not have occurred to me there were any other guests except that I knew they were completely sold out. The grounds have some cute touches, too. It was a little too cold for us to hang out in the courtyard, but that will be another good reason to return when it’s warmer weather.
Reviewed February 21, 2014 on by M007W Berkley, CA
After a four-year hiatus we were able to get back to Piety Hill again. We were extremely pleased to find that the hosts (friendly and attentive), room (beautiful, comfortable, and complete), and service (breakfast was very tasty and perfectly on-time) were still A-1!
Reviewed October 26, 2013 on by MJBryson Monterey County, CA
I think one of the best ways to judge a place is if you would return. I think an even better way to judge a place is if you find yourself trying to figure out ways to return soon! I am trying to figure out ways to return soon for certain.I found the cottages quaint, individual, comfortable and just a real pleasure to stay in. These are unique units with care and thought poured into each one. I really loved and appreciated the small details. I found the staff to be kind, friendly, helpful, responsive and little bit like extended family (in a great way). I found the location to be excellent. Off the main drag but close enough to walk into the main “downtown” area. It was also excellent for me because I am a runner and I was able to run in the neighborhoods without any problems. Piety cottages are clean, well cared for, comfortable places to stay. I am looking forward to returning to visit again and cuddling up in one of their cottages. I highly recommend this haven. PS. We run a small Cottage rental in the Yosemite area and we like Piety Cottages so much that we recommend it to our customers!!!
Reviewed 9/7/2013 on! By Eliote D. San Francisco, CA
This is exactly the type of place you want to stay after you’ve stayed at a string of chain hotels. The entire place is well-kept, yet has the charm of being older cottages with unique interiors. The reception area has been recently redone. The owner, Michael, was very pleasant and showed me some of the work that had been done. We stayed in the Cedar Cottage. It is perfect for two adults and two children. It was warm during our stay, but with the air conditioner and ceiling fan, it was nice and cool inside. The grounds were very well-kept, with a community area in the middle for lounging and BBQ-ing. There are small garages attached to each cottage for convenient parking. Very close to downtown – fifteen minute walk or a five minute drive.
Reviewed 8/5/2011 on! By Ted G. Long Beach, Ca.
We have stayed here a couple different times over the Christmas holidays and had a great experience each time. The cottages are cozy and we LOVED that they bring your freshly made breakfast to your room, (including fresh squeezed orange juice). We recommend staying here whether a couple or a family. 🙂 It is beautiful when it snows and the Old Fashioned Christmas festival is a lot of fun, too. 🙂
Reviewed Jan. 2014 on FaceBook by Christie Lesan McGuire
We always have a GREAT time grill-n & chill-n spring, summer or fall when we visit. Within walking distance to lots of things to do. The continental breakfast is so generous we saved some for afternoon snacks with champagne
Reviewed Dec. 2013 on FaceBook by Terry Rose
I’ve traveled and lodged in hotels a fair amount, but never stayed at a place as nice as your Maple Cottage. I was excited I’d found it online and then looked at your virtual cottage and grounds tours. The one that looked best for me was Maple. I didn’t want to stay at a hotel because they are so impersonal and I feel like I’m lodging inside a huge machine and stay there as little as possible. Like my cousin said, with a place that nice, you might not want to go anywhere at all. On my next visit to my cousin, I know where I’ll be staying.
Email received 6/12/14 -D. Iverson Stay dates: June 7-10, 2014