El Dorado County Historical Museum
104 Placerville Drive
Placerville, CA 95667
We're overdue for a visit back to El Dorado County Historical Museum since it's been a few years that we last saw so many great exhibits about the gold rush, El Dorado County area and Placerville.
The museum's biggest, grand display is a grocer's counter with a mannequin filling the shoes of the proprietor, and row after row of canned, boxed or bottled products you might see and purchase during the late 1800s to early 1900s. Big, blown glass jars filled with tantalizing candies not far from the antique cash register offer a glimpse into how, even then, marketing was on the minds of shop owners looking to make a profit.
"Bull" Durham 1oz bag 5¢
J.P. Alley's Hambone 5¢ Finest Quality
Diamond Dyes How to Use Them
Boxes and Unboxed Cigars
Cadbury's Cocoa Essence
Voight Cream Flakes
Place's Peanut Butter
Sunshine Krispy Crackers
Loverin & Browne Importers and Jobbers of Fine Teas and Coffee
If you've ever had the pleasure of spending a night at the historic Cary
House (1857) in Placerville, you'll appreciate seeing a vintage
advertisement in the printed guest register from 1902-1903, one of many
donated items at the museum:
Smoke O.P. and El Dorado Cigars
Cary House Bar
Manufactured by El Dorado Cigar Co.
---White Labor Only---
Only Three Chair Shop in the City
F.P. Smith, Proprietor
Climax Shaving Parlors
Three Doors East of Cary House
Fun things among the museum collection are ladies tie up boots in black leather, and a shortened version in white, a Stitchwell Sewing Machine, checkerboard, porcelain dolls with fancy clothes and curls in their hair, a wall candlestick telephone, photo of John Studebaker with the Hangtown Pioneers on April 16, 1912 in Placerville, antique bottle collection and a Studebaker, Jr. Farm Wagon suitable for children's use.
The El Dorado County Historical Museum at the western end of town boasts everything from a Maidu coiled feasting basket to giant nozzles used in hydraulic mining. Among my favorite artifacts: a worn wooden wheelbarrow from the 1850s, one of many built and sold in Placerville by future automobile pioneer John Studebaker.
There are several museums worth a look in El Dorado County, but this one
has our vote -- definitely!