January 24th, 1848, was a day that changed the course of history in California forever. Gold was discovered! It wasn’t long before people flocked to Placerville, CA, formerly known as Old Dry Diggins and Hangtown. They had high hopes and gilded dreams, and Gold Bug Park offered an opportunity for them to strike it rich. The Gold Rush may be over, but the park is still rich in history, and these are the best ways to discover it all! Before you go, make sure you look through our free Vacation Guide to Placerville. You won’t need to search for more historical sites, activities, and restaurants in the area, because we’ve done all the searching for you!
Uncover History at Gold Bug Park
1. Gold Bug Mine
When gold resources dwindled in the nearby stream, people turned to hard rock mining. Gold Bug Mine, then called “Hattie Mine,” opened in 1888 and became the new hotspot for finding gold. Today, you can enjoy a self-guided audio tour or guided tour through the 352-foot passageway and discover a wealth of fun facts about Gold Bug Mine!
2. Hattie’s Gold Rush Museum
The history lesson doesn’t stop there! You can also see a variety of authentic mining tools and drawings within Hattie’s Museum at Gold Bug Park. It’s a great way to learn about the mining process and check out some unique rocks. Admission is free!
3. Blacksmith Shop
While you’re exploring the park, don’t forget to stop by the Blacksmith Shop. It’s a real, working shop with insightful demonstrations throughout the day!
4. Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill
Do you ever wonder how miners extracted the valuable gold from within the ore? It wasn’t easy, but stamp mills sure helped! After you walk through the Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill building, you’ll know what made these machines so crucial to the Gold Rush.
5. Hattie’s Gift Shop
You’ll want to remember your visit to Gold Bug Park, and a souvenir from Hattie’s Gift Shop will help you preserve those memories forever. Inside is a treasure trove of books, photographs, T-shirts, and even items crafted at the Blacksmith Shop. Feel free to grab some snacks and water here as well!
Bonus Treasure: Hiking Trails
We would be remiss without mentioning the two miles of hiking trails throughout Gold Bug Park. They’re well-groomed, dog-friendly, and offer a fantastic way to enjoy Placerville’s scenery!
Enjoy Another Gem of Placerville: Eden Vale Inn
After a full day of exploring history at the park, the luxurious accommodations and modern amenities at Eden Vale Inn are a welcome sight. You can rest your feet by the fireplace, enjoy a glass of wine in the gardens, and melt into a state of relaxation in your deep soaking tub. Plus, we’re minutes away from historical sites like Gold Bug Park, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, and the Fountain & Tallman Museum.
Step through the garden entrance to the Stone Pine room and discover a tranquil paradise waiting for you inside. This elegant space features luxury furnishings, inviting decor, and mood lighting at the push of a button!
Book your stay today and enjoy a little bit of Heaven on earth!