The Bradford Place Inn is a 1889 Historic House called the Keil Bergson house, but the history of the site goes back to around 1850. In 1850, the main street into town was Bradford Street. Settlers and travelers would come to this site where there was a large Gazebo across Green Street. The gazebo would give shade while they would draw water from the early well. The well still remains on the site (though covered) as a reminder of the early history of the area.
Eventually, the lot was purchased by Frank Dozier, the Wells Fargo agent of Sonora. He built the house to be his personal residence, however, just before it was completed, his sister in law died and he was requested to return to Minnesota to help his brother with the family. He sold the house to a local businessman Edward Keil. Mr. Keil and his family enjoyed playing music and singing together. Until he purchased the house, he and his family were living across the street above his saloon. Besides owning the saloon, Mr. Keil was also a major shareholder of the famous Bonanza mine, the most successful mine of the mother lode.
In 1903, the Keils decided to retire and sold the house to a wealthy widow, Mrs. Delia Shine. Delia moved here with her two daughters. She was the 2nd woman driver in the county and remodeled the house, widening the house and replacing the staircase (and probably added the early bathroom now part of the Tioga room.) Mrs. Shine's daughter married Mr. Bergson in the beautiful garden, and when Mrs. Shine passed away, Mrs. Bergson inherited the house and continued to live here until her death in the 1970s.
When the county built their headquarters next door, they wanted to annex the property and condemn the house hoping to make this a parking structure. Mrs. Bergson together with the historical society successfully saved the historic house and it from the destruction.
Historic houses are typically called after their first residents, hence this would be the Keil house, but due to her diligent care and successful win in her fight to save the house from destruction, the house was named "The Keil Bergson House" in honor also of Mrs. Bergson who lived here and loved the house for so long.
Edward Keil was a saloon-keeper and local businessman. He was a major shareholder in the famous Bonanza gold mine, and was a leader in the community. His family is gathered in the photo below. Mr. Keil was an avid musician in addition to his other business interests.
Mrs. Delia Shine purchased the house in 1902, remodelling the home extensively. She was the second woman driver in the county.
This Historic Well Plaque commemorates one of the three original wells serving the gold miners in Sonora in the 1950s. Another plaque at the sidewalk describes the construction of the well. Bradford Street was the main highway into town, and residents brought their water tanks for its cool, refreshing flavor