Tuesdays in my Town - Smith Flat House...and Filming an Old West Barroom Scene
The Smith Flat House has a long and wonderfully rich history.
It was built in 1853 over a canyon where gold was discovered known as the Deep Blue Channel.
Back then it was called the "3 Mile House" due to its distance from downtown Placerville.
A blogging buddy of mine, Tina from Gold Country Girls, has written an eloquent and extensive history here.
She tells all about how it was a general store and a stage stop, over the years also housing a post office, saloon, dancehall and brothel!
My own sister used to live up at the end of Smith Flat Road in a tiny apartment next to the Copper Rail Bar. She was only 19 and I was 18 and we would hang out there all the time and invite all our friends over. Then I'd walk home the three miles along the pretty little creek full of falling white blossoms, exploring the old cemetery and ruined buildings along the way.
I have always been intrigued by the Smith Flat House. For years (in my lifetime) it was a hotel and then a restaurant. Now it has a brand new incarnation; it has been lovingly restored by Mister John Conforti, who knows the lively history backwards and forwards, into a beautiful Healing Arts Center!
He incorporated this 150 year old barn into the outdoor courtyard. It just makes me want to cry, it's so lovely.
And also, he is now serving wonderful brick oven pizza in the courtyard in the evenings, where they have preserved a lot of the original materials like the cobblestone and rock walls.
But we had the honor of being there for a different reason.
First night of filming for Darin's project, Epic Dust!
I know I talk about this a lot lately, but I could not be more excited, especially now that things are really underway.
And especially when we have locations as cool as this for film sets!
We were way down, not just in the basement where they used to run a bar, and which John Conforti is now remodeling to again house a bar and tea room, but even further in the depths...
in the old cave adjoining the bar.
Okay, not all the way in there...but we were right next to this!
Here is Jacob Mingle, playing the drunken Mexican singer. He invoked this wise eccentric old poet soul perfectly.
I had fun helping everyone get dirty and sweaty.
Sweet Lupe played the dangerous gunslinger.
Emily is not very fond of sipping whiskey. As brothel gal, she maybe needs to work on this skill.
Darin, directing, in deep concentration. He worked incredibly hard all day long.
Darin's brother, Sinjin, as guitar player in the corner.
Stan does a beautiful job of helping Darin stay on track and keeping things fun and positive.
They really are a good filmmaking team.
The beautiful Monique, who stayed from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. with NO DINNER! This is why we needed a budget. From here on out, we will be able to offer actors sustenance! Luckily, she is amazing and her energy stayed high and cheerful all night.
And the star of the show over there...Darin with the illustrious Billy the Kid, played by Nick Savino.
Jamie Van Camp as the cigar-chewing barkeep.
I find this look quite becoming on Phil.
And so the story begins.....
At a spot where so many real old stories happened.
The ghosts may rest their weary bones tonight.