Placerville is a city in and the county seat of El Dorado County, California. Take a look below for 15 obscure and fun facts about Placerville, California, United States.
1. The population was 10,747 as of the 2020 census, up from 10,389 as of the 2010 census.
2. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area.
3. A former Maidu settlement called Indak was located at the site of the town.
4. After the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in nearby Coloma, California, by James W. Marshall in 1848 sparked the California Gold Rush, the small town now known as Placerville was known as Dry Diggin’s after the manner in which the miners moved cartloads of dry soil to run water to separate the gold from the soil.
5. Later in 1849, the town earned its most common historical name, “Hangtown”, because of the numerous hangings that had occurred there. However, there is debate on exactly how many lynchings occurred in the town.
6. The town had no police force (in 1849) and five immigrants attempted robbery of a Mexican gambler.
7. Of the five immigrants, two Frenchmen and one Chilean were known wanted men, and they were not given any trial, instead they were hanged on an oak tree on Main Street by a mob.
8. The name “Hangtown” stuck after that event.
9. By about 1850, the temperance league and a few local churches had begun to request that a more friendly name be bestowed upon the town.
10. The name was not changed until 1854 when the City of Placerville was incorporated. At its incorporation, Placerville was the third largest town in California. In 1857 the county seat was then moved from Coloma to Placerville, where it remains today.
11. Placerville was a central hub for the Mother Lode region’s mining operations.
12. The town had many services, including transportation (of people and goods), lodging, banking, and had a market and general store. The history of hard-rock mining is evidenced by an open and accessible Gold Bug Park & Mine, now a museum with tours and books.[
13. The Southern Pacific Railroad once had a branch line that extended from Sacramento to Placerville. The track was abandoned in the 1980s. The Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad (now abandoned) also operated an eight-mile (thirteen-kilometer) shortline that operated between Camino, California, and Placerville until June 17, 1986.
14. As of March 29, 2007, 52 miles (84 km) of the right-of-way have been purchased by the city of Folsom, and 18 miles (29 km) of track have been restored. Plans are in motion for a tourist train along the route.
15. The town’s first post office opened in 1850.