I'm currently working on an alternate beginning for Allison's story, and I've located my setting!!! It took me a while of sorting through information filled with gaps during the year Allison would have been in the Nevada County area, but I finally found a hotel for her to stay in... the place where her California Panic begins! If I should choose my alternate beginning, you will find Allie in a muddle within her National Exchange Hotel room.
I liked the National Hotel the minute I saw it in my google search, but I couldn't find the details I needed to know if it had been in operation in 1874. But a little more searching revealed that it was! The clue I had been searching for was in a sample page from google books mentioning a flagpole that was erected in front of it in January of 1874!!!
So look for Allie at the National Hotel! Not really. She's fictional. But that's the point of Historical Fiction! Taking real places and dumping a fictional character int he middle of them.