Old 1888 Map & Landmarks Brochure "Walk Old Hangtown"

For the History Buff by Marilyn Ferguson  

“Walk Old Hangtown” © 1998 is a walking tour of the Old 1888 Map & Main Street Landmarks historic display at 477 Main Street. The history information is taken from “Walking Tour of Historic Placerville” © 1973 by: Jane Schlappi and Marilyn Ferguson. Photo of Marilyn Ferguson by: Wendy Shultz, Mountain Democrat, from her article “Marilyn Ferguson~ A City Jewel” Old 1888 Map & Landmarks Text & Map Designed by Marilyn Ferguson. Photos & Historic Display Donated & Maintained by Josette Johnson since 1998

Old Map & Landmarks Located at Kirk/Old City Hall Lot

El Dorado County Court House

El Dorado County Court House.

#1. 495 Main Street. Building began in 1911 and was completed in 1912.

Placerville Old City Hall


#2. (Confidence Engine House 1860 and the Jane Stuart Building 1859) 487 Main Street.

I.O.O.F.: Morning Star Lodge #20


#3. 467 Main Street Built in 1911 and has a rare spring-loaded dance floor.

Placerville Hardware

Placerville Hardware

#4 (Hardware Building and the Mountain Democrat Newspaper Building) 441 Main Street. Both Built in 1857.

Masonic Hall/El Dorado Lodge #26


#5.  419 Main Street.  Built in 1893.

Placerville News Co.: (Shelly Inch Building)


#6.  409 Main Street. Lower floor built in 1856.  Upper floor and iron front added 1898.

The Hangman's Tree


#8. 305 Main Street. Historical Landmark #141 Built in 1852. Site of the famous hangman's tree.

Cary House Hotel


#9. The Hotel Placerville and The Raffles Hotel) 300 Main Street. Built in 1915 and named the Cary House. In 1983 the building was renamed.

The Fountain & Tallman Building


#10. 524 Main Street.  Built in 1852.  It survived the fire of 1856 and housed the Tallman & Fountain Soda Works.

EDC Chamber of Commerce


#11 547 Main Street. The Veteran's Memorial Building.  Built in 1921 to honor local men who served in WWl. 

Cedar Ravine Stable Building


#112 582 Main Street. Built in 1864.

Pearson Soda Works Building


#13 594 Main Street.  Building built in 1859.  Upper floor was added in 1898.

The Bell Tower


#7  Built in 1898, the tower is the third to stand on this site.  Placed in the center of town to sound the terrible alarm of "FIRE" and to call to battle the volunteer firemen, the tower is a unique landmark of Placerville.

Druid Monument


#14.  Corner of Main Street and Cedar Ravine.  Erected in 1926 as a memorial to Frederick Sieg who was the founder of California's Grove #1 of the Druid Lodge in Placerville.

Old 1888 Map & Main St Landmarks Designed by Marilyn Ferguson, Donated by Josette Johnson Since 1998


See "Tour Starts Here" on old 1888 map and landmarks display, since 1998,  located at the public restroom in the Kirk/Old City Hall Lot off Main Street.  Map and Text by Marilyn Ferguson, Historic Research Consultant and Associates. Photos & Historic Display Maintenance Donated by Josette Johnson Since 1998. For more information go to: https://www.walkoldhangtown.org 


Placerville “A Village of Gold” From Sesquicentennial Book

By: Marilyn Ferguson



By: Marilyn Ferguson

Since the first deposits of placer gold were found on the banks of Hangtown Creek in 1848, Placerville has been the center of activity in the region of California known as the "Central Mines."  Men from every part of the world flocked to Placerville; Georgians, Chileans and Sonorans were the first miners who came with knowledge of mining methods.  Great gold deposits were mined and some 49'ers returned home rich, while others stated to become the founding fathers of the town; others died alone and penniless, lost to their loved ones.  

In 1850, the village was officially called Placerville in remembrance of the huge placer gold deposits found here.  Incorporation came in May of 1854.  In five short years, Placerville had grown from a mining camp, to a village, to a city.  In 1857, Placerville, by popular vote, became the county seat.

Placerville earned the nickname of "Hangtown" when in 1849 a big oak tree in the middle of the camp was used to mete out quick justice to wrongdoers.  The nick name stuck and persists to this day, to the pleasure of some and the displeasure of others.

The strategic location on the early emigrant route made Placerville an important supply center. In 1859 when the great Nevada silver deposits of the Comstock Lode were discovered, long line of supply wagons threaded their way east over the Sierras, carrying needed provisions, and returned with the rich ore from the mines heading for the Mint in San Francisco.

Many Miners prospered from their gold finds, and seeing ample opportunities, opened businesses, supplied goods and services, developed a huge lumber industry, built great water and road systems, and established vst acres of agricultural lands.

Located at the intersection of State Highway 50 and State Route 49, modern Main Street shows a busy, growing town.  But under the layers of facade, stand rhyolite stone buildings (c. 1853-1858), reminders of the citizens who, by their enterprise and hard work, left us the legacy of a permanent city.

Originally Published in 2007 © Placerville Sesquicentennial Historic Garden Walk. 

Historic Garden Walk

For more information on the special edition sesquicentennial book, Historic Garden Walk  from 2007 celebrating Placerville’s 150-year golden past with more landmarks & public art at gardens, click below.

Placerville Garden Walk with Points of Historic Interest

In honor of our sesquicentennial celebrating Placerville's 150 year golden past we published this book © 2007. Free to download here this walking tour shows the historic significance of our old maps, landmarks, historic Main Street history & village of gold by Marilyn Ferguson and garden projects photos by Josette Johnson.  

Wildflowers we seeded along the Scenic Corridor of Hwy 50.

Old Map & Landmark Walk Old Hangtown Placerville California

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