The Robin's Nest

History & Current Innkeepers

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1895 Old Inn Picture

1895: John Snyder, County District Attorney, built this magnificent home for his bride, Elizabeth O'Connell. Local newspapers referred to it as a mansion and one of the finest residences in the mountains.

Rowena, the Snyder's daughter was born here and Mayme, Elizabeth's sister, resided here as well.  The house was for the most part unoccupied from about 1939 to 1979. During that time it became known as the "Haunted House" of San Andreas and often used as a model for high school art class. One of the resultant pictures, a water color, currently hangs in the front parlor. The house was sold in 1979.

1982: The start of a careful restoration to the home's original Queen Ann Victorian style.  The original dirt basement was converted into owners quarters plus a gift shop (subsequently converted into a guest room). The huge unfinished attic was converted into 5 guest rooms. It subsequently received an award for Architectural Excellance by the Calaveras County Historical Society.

1984: Robin Brooks, then owner, officially opened her doors to the public as a Bed & Breakfast Inn. Her first guest was Rowena Snyder.

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1895 Old Inn Picture

1981: We emigrated from Toronto Canada to Ridgewood New Jersey. Bill worked as a Director/Chief Information Officer for a Manhattan based international bank responsible for overall Systems & Communication . Karen managed a hustling New York Restaurant-Bar.
We renovated our Cape Cod home, doing most of the work ourselves, turning it into a modern Colonial ideally designed for social events. I used the house to entertain visiting executives with Karen as the perfect hostess. Canadian relatives took advantage of our proximity to Manhattan and Atlantic City. We even had a number of long-term borders. Fortunately both of us love to cook and entertain.

1988: Rather than accept a transfer back to Canada, Bill started a construction business specializing in Historic renovations.

1996: We sold our home and most of our possesions and on Sept. 1st, started on a 14,000 mile trek that crossed 4 Canadian Provinces and 31 U.S. States. Highlights visited included Montana's Glacier Park and the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and British Columbia.
After looking at dozens of prospective properties we found one that met our primary requirements

  • Lots of rooms (9)
  • Separate Owners Quarters
  • Property (1.3 acres)
  • Victorian Architecture (Queen Ann)

  • Since then we've put our hearts and souls into turning what we saw as a lot of potential into reality. We're well on the way to elevating an already charming old gal to a truly elegant Painted Lady.

    Even more important than the structure is the satisfaction of our guests. If repeat bookings, referrals and overall increased occupancy is any indication of success, we're doing well.

    Come spend some time at the Nest and share our dream.