Archives of the El Dorado County Museum

Early Elections

At the first election held in El Dorado County on September 3, 1851 Governor John Bigler received 3,072 votes and B. P. Reading 2,628. The first general election for supervisors was held in 1855. The Know Nothing party carried the party at this election. At the presidential election of 1860, the total electors for Abraham Lincoln received 2119; those for Douglas, independent democrat 2,697.

The Governor admired Flowers

It is related that when Governor Bigler visited Placerville, on a campaigning tour, he stopped at the place of a voter who was a floriculturist, and desiring to make a hit, he admired a certain white blossom, which appeared in profusion. The pretty daughter of the house smiled, and told him that the flower in question came from a bulb, and that when he was inaugurated she should send him some. True to her word she sent him, on the day he was sworn in, a peck of the handsome potatoes which have since made El Dorado County famous.

City Hall

The Placerville City Hall is located in what was once known as the Confidence Engine Company Building No. 1. The Confidence Engine Company wasn't Placerville's first.The first Placerville Fire company was organized on June 23, 1853. Called Neptune Hose Company #1, its motto was, we're Ready. The building was erected in the fall of 1860. The Placerville City government has been located there since 1902. The building located to the east of the Confidence Building was W. M. Donohue & RH. Black's Confidence Building to form the current City Hall.

The El Dorado Hotel burned down in one of the great fires of 1856 that leveled most of Hangtown, which by that time had become a growing Gold Rush city named Placerville. On the side of the El Dorado Hotel, the large brick Cary House Hotel was built where it still stands to this day on Placerville's Main Street. It is interesting to note that some say the owner of the Cary House recovered enough gold from under the building to pay for the cost of restoration.