The original owner of the St. Charles was French-born Albert J. Muller. Muller started his career in Carson City as a professional baker until he realized that a hotel business was more promising. Although most of his patrons were French-Canadian wood choppers, the hotel became a frequent host to social gatherings in town.
The hotel is the second oldest in Nevada, and it is one of the oldest extant commercial buildings in Carson City. It was typical for commercial buildings in the late-nineteenth century to have a low-pitched roof, decorative brackets under a cornice, and tall narrow windows. Initially, the hotel existed as two separate buildings. Construction on the northern section, the St. Charles, started April 1, 1862, and the southern section, the Muller Hotel, began the following month. Numerous alterations to the hotel over the years result in its unique look, not belonging to any particular architectural period. The architectural style is closest to Italianate, a style that was most common for many American main-street commercial buildings.
The hotel remained a successful business as it went through several name and ownership changes until the 1980s. Before its period of decline, the hotel went through many transformations. In 1895, Gilbert and Dorcas Briggs changed its name to the Briggs’ House. In 1910, it became the Golden West Hotel. Over the years, the hotel changed again and was known as the Travelers Hotel, Hotel Page, the Pony Express Hotel when it was at its largest room count, and finally back to St. Charles Muller’s Hotel. Overall, the hotel’s ownership changed sixteen times over a 142-year period. On top of its many name changes, the hotel building has also several different businesses occupy its grounds. Some of these were a stagecoach office, a saloon, a restaurant, retail shops, and a grammar school classroom.
Not much of the building remains in its original form, yet it shows signs of the changes it has gone through in its purposes, names, and owners. Today, the hotel is beautifully painted red and gold. Rooms with modern décor and comforts are available through Airbnb, making it easy to book online. In the hotel’s history, there were periods of time where the hotel was inaccessible, but today it is open and catering to current methods of booking a place to stay.