Travel back in time to the California Gold Rush and experience Placerville, CA, history. Formerly known as Hangtown and Old Dry Diggins, this old mining town is chock-full of everything you expect from a small town in the Wild West. From old mines to Historic Placerville, history buffs will feel right at home here. For more information on sights, things to do, and places to eat, download our free Vacation Guide. Start your adventure into California’s Gold Country today!
The Best Ways to Experience Placerville, CA, History
Stroll Down Main Street
Historic Main Street snakes through the center of downtown Placerville. You can picture the well-preserved town as it was back in the mid-1800’s. There are plenty of shops and places to eat along Main Street as you learn about Placerville, California’s history. This old stop on the Pony Express was known as Hangtown for the many forms of vigilante justice carried out here, many times at the end of a rope. There are many stories about where this nickname came from, but the most famous one involves the hanging of three robbers from a tree that once stood in Elstner’s Hay Yard. Today, the original stump of the tree sits in the basement of “The Hangman’s Tree” Tavern, where a mannequin hangs from a rope outside marking the location.
El Dorado County Historical Museum
The El Dorado County Historical Museum gives visitors a sneak peek at life during the Gold Rush era. It showcases gold mining equipment, a wheelbarrow made by John Studebaker (the founder of Studebaker Corporation automotive company), and many other exhibits regarding the town’s storied past. The museum also holds artifacts from Indian tribes that inhabited the area before and after the Gold Rush.
Gold Bug Park and Mine
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a miner, the Gold Bug Park and Mine is the place to visit. This historical and geological attraction takes you back in time to the first year of use in 1888. The 352-foot mine shaft can be explored via self-guided tours as well as volunteer-guided tours.
Explore Eldorado National Forest
Only 30 minutes away from Eden Vale Inn, Eldorado National Forest provides visitors with a chance to see the natural beauty that complements the history of Placerville. Whether you take a drive under the towering trees, look for wildlife, or hike through the rolling hills, this National Forest transports visitors back to the days of the sprawling Wild West.
After a day of exploring Placerville, California, history, make the easy 15-minute drive back to your stylish and luxurious room at Eden Vale Inn. Wake up to a gourmet breakfast after a night in one of our premier guest rooms. Or, make your stay at Eden Vale Inn even more special with one of our romantic packages, like the Passionate for You spa massage. This includes a 60-minute couple’s massage, bath products, a choice of wine, champagne, or sparkling cider, and fresh truffles from our local chocolatier.
Check our availability to start planning your getaway to yesteryear in Placerville. Don’t forget to access our free Vacation Guide for all of the best insider tips and things to do in the area. We can’t wait to have you as our guest!