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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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May 2, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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May 2, 2001
 

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Reporter ˘,~,d_dn~sday~ - May 2, 2001 1B I Arts & Entertainment Opinion & Perspective Letters to the Editor Vitals arrived in Plumas County to live in 1939, the Quincy and not the hotel he would purchase in 1957. Hotel dominated one full block of the Photo courtesy of Ernie Leonhardt community. With his young family, Leonhardt's sights were set on I owner looks back to busy days dmark, other bus ness ventures r er Bank now stands, the insurance business he'd Leonhardt settled into busi- operated for years. rs between ness, but a few years later Leonhardt knew he didn't first visit found himself in the middle of want to make a business deci- op- gas rationing and World War sion in the middle of the side- him to II. Through rationing, car walk, but it was something he owners were issued coupons was interested in. Talking it most, was and were only allotted soover, King said he would stay much gasoline per month, cut- with Leonhardt for six rolled into ting Leonhardt's business in months, bringing him up to Car loaded half, he said. speed on the business and a leased Although he had acquired preparing him for his certifi- Was waiting three leased stations by the cation exams. took in the early 1940s, Leonhardt said he Leonhardt went into busi- two just couldn't make it and had ness, assuming he was put- probably to turn the stations back over chasing a small building on .changes he to the company. That left him Harbison Street. Later, sign- lri the next without a job. ing the deeds, he discovered raore. "I had to make some mon- his purchase was worth a Years, Leon- ey," he said, as he looked whole lotmore. his gas sta- around for work. "Come to find out it was for grocery store The grocery, store that stood that whole corner in there, in- business, be- at the corner of Main Street " cIuding several houses, ser- agent, a across from the courthouse vice station and rentals. I was and the (now the Pizza Factory) had in my glory," Leonhardt said. Hotel. just sold to two brothers from King only ended up staying 28, volun- the Bay Area. But, before they three months, but Leonhardt ame Shirley could take over their newpassed his exams and eventu- ee Planted a business, they were drafted, ally set up shop in a new of the former giving Leonhardt an opportu- three-story building where honor, nity at the job. Sweet Lorraine's Restaurant Y. As luck would have it, food is now located. tl mr o,__n ar rationing began, but it didn't Leonhardt said the insur- hit the food industry the way ance business was quite suc- dt re- it had Leonhardt s service sta- cessful, allowing him to build WOUl, 'fl neighbor tions, he said. It just required it up to include four employ- • " u-rive him to stamping each food item with ees, but it also proved to be Laaardt , e • Was living the required number indicat- more than what he really He had a ing how many rationing wanted tomanage. • .-- gas station After about eight years, he • wo of,L , coupons were needed to put- sold the business to a man 'Omo uose very chase it. z. oy in those At that time, Plumas Coun-from Reno named Von L. Ed- e e bered ty's economy was doing well, wards, whose son, Bob, re- Leonhardt said. The lumbermains in the business today. lis- ghbor as he mills were going strong, so he eeded to get tohad it pretty good," running leads to hotel R'cy for One of the Taking another leap in oc- JObs o • the grocery store. . Limb:'.' Penzng up In fact, times were good cupations, Leonhardt decided Association enough that he decided to take to try his luck in ranching, i.[) ltlter .Ston, Leon.°verthebufldingnextd°°rt°purchasingah°useandpr°p" to how the Clinch Building and ran a erty on Chandler Road (the hardware store out of it. area now known as the Reid fel d Work, so ' Ranch). °w. Over. Not Change of plans lled It was tough breaking into else to go, the cattle business Leonhardt iri fro Leonhardt had been ca learned, so he began to look :'-QZric° un- Mainnt of up to join the troops serving around for what he called a t, the car. in the war, but each time he "bread and butter operation. t" atehed life was deferred because of his d family or business, he said. Emile and Juanita Austin [wo elderlyhim" "I got my fifth draft notice," were intel;ested in selling the l.e' _°enches, in joinedand decidedup, it was time he storyQUinCYbuildingH°tel' thethat famOUSonce stoodtW°" rhl Versation.Before leaving in JanuarY, on the corner across from the act station, 1945, he purchased some courthouse, and Leonhardt ltl q • Waiting. ttiet con- rental properties to give his decided to take it on. busi- family an income while he "It was pretty run down," Photo courtesy of Ert~e Le0~t~dt Barbara Leonhardt poses with two of her children, Chl/l EriC, mid/their aunt Isl of the Quincy Hotel, during the yeats it was a I.ooedlwltlt-owned ,and ~ bulu!~ coodesy of Ernie The Quincy Hotel's dining room was a popular spot years, Fznle I,ecmhmd femmr owner from 1957 to said the =umorlbubord was always papular. ' er: as Leon- was away, or to help themLeonhardt said about pur. h -_ ev'nwtoWn, ex along should something hap- chasing the hotel in 1957. But, - pen to him. and he and his family set to work, gas enture So, leaving the grocery . not only operating the busi. 't eh;CJ Station,. hardware businesses behind, ness, but improving it. a bit on he was Leonhardt enlisted. "I went in Thinking back, he said with Bob Moon," he men- there were 53 rooms. A room p- . • -de three h S[ethe places tioned, referring to another with a bath went for $4 a weD-known Quincy resident,night. A room without a bath It them on ,, But, boot camp was rough, rented for $,3. There were a "illt ':!hllsetI was 30," he said. The rest of lot more rooms without baths 2 vO:; the men were in their teens than there was with bath- and early 20s. By April, Leon- rooms," Leonhardt said. hardt found hims'elf on his rite i to it was One of his goals was to add more bathrooms, with upgrad- way home, however, receiving a medical discharge. The war ed facilities throughout. was winding down by that The hotel dining room was time, and men were being sent popular, Leonhardt said--so acecl as far home.was the smorgasbord. Travel- etu toou,nc e O Oe to no odo i Ilh b rlsing his hardt found himself in need of a little weekend gambling tke I,,. ss recom, a job once again, would stop by to have a bite to l. a,lease op- Shortly after his return, he eat, and end up renting a ......... L ~'~ : Photo courtesy of Ernie Leonhardt i l e l 2WaY 70, said he was walking down the room, their plans for Reno for- :ol lle .er River street when a man by the gotten. Emle L m lmr bought {l ,l y HOtel f Om ramil / ..$ lm.!n 9B7.iZ n qt too in 1937,name of Louis King ap- ,,people still talk about it," dominated the corner from the cou J Jen, zmm n .. . ,, it[... OVer theproached him and asked himLeonhardt said, about the had the the previous y u'. two n up for Where Plac- ff he was interested in buying page 2B em when Austin showed how a •