VOLCANO — One of the coziest and unique live theatre stage settings in all of the 209 can be found in what was once Amador County’s biggest town — Volcano.
The Volcano Theatre Co. starts its 44th season on April 8 in the 50-seat Cobblestone Theater that was built in 1856 as Adolph Mayer’s Tobacco and Cigar Emporium. The VCT also has an outdoor amphitheater across the street for summer productions.
Friday and Saturday curtain times at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes before performances.
The shows this season are:
”Bell, Book, and Candle” from April 8 through May 7.
”Harvey” from June 9 through July 8.
”A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from Aug. 4 through Sept. 2.
”Wait Until Dark” from Sept. 16 through Oct. 15.
”A Charlie Brown Christmas” from Nov. 7 through Dec. 9.
Adult tickets are $16, seniors 62 and older are $14, and students under 18 (summer amphitheater performances only) are $11. Tickets are available at www.volcanotheatre.net .
There is a couple of unique dining spots and lodging options in Volcano.
The three-story historic St. George Hotel at 15104 Main Street in Volcano offers rooms ranging from $55 to $209 per night. Hotel office hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The ae closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The phone number is 209.296.4458 while the website is www.stgeorgevolcano.com.
The hotel restaurant is open Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursdays 5 to 9 p.m., Saturdays noon to 9 p.m. and Sundays for brunch/lunch from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. The hotel’s Whiskey Flat Saloon bar opens Tuesday and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. with food served from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 4 p.m. with food served from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday at noon with food served from noon to 5 p.m. from the lunch menu and 5 to 9 p.m. from the dinner menu; and Sundays at 9 a.m. with food served from the brunch menu form 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner menu from 5 to 8 p.m.
The Volcano Union Inn at 21375 Consolation Street in Volcano was built as a boarding house in 1880. Today it is a California-style pub and four-room bed and breakfast. The pub is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. It is open Monday and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Room rates range from $95 midweek to $150 for weekends.
Volcano is named for its setting in a bowl-shaped valley which early miners thought was caused by a volcano. The town dates back to the late 1850s and was originally nicknamed “Crater City”.
Lore has in 1849 one miner took out $8,000 of gold in a single day while another mined 28 pounds over the course of time from a single pocket.
The town at one time was Amador County’s largest with thousands of residents,
It also was the site of California’s first astronomical observatory as well as an early law school that was in the basement of the Volcano Theatre Company’s amphitheater site. It also happened to be the home of the state’s first amateur theatrical company. The Volcano Theatre Company is not connected with that initial acting forum. The VCT was launched in 1974.
Volcano in its heyday boasted 16 hotels, 37 saloons, three breweries, three bakeries, and lots of gold.
There are antique shops, boutiques and dining in nearby Sutter Creek, Amador City, and Jackson. The Shenandoah Valley — a collection of small wineries — is closely as well as cave tours, hiking, boating, and fishing, There are also several museums.