Mon-Tue – Closed
Wed-Sun – 11am-4pm
Housed in the 1852-53 stone soda works building, the artifacts on display at the Fountain & Tallman Museum tell the story of the California Gold Rush and the part Placerville played in the recovery of those huge deposits of GOLD.The El Dorado County Historical Society was established in 1938 when thirty-six people from twenty-three fraternal and civic organizations met at the courthouse and voted unanimously to collect and preserve the artifacts and documents so important to future generations. In 1981, the “Old Stone Building” was gifted to the Historical Society by Faye Rupley Cannon. In 1983 the museum was opened to the public and in 1984 was approved by the Secretary of the Interior to be entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
The Fountain & Tallman Museum is staffed by dedicated docent-volunteers who educate our world-traveling visitors about the history of the Gold Rush and promote the many businesses on Historic Main Street.
The first floor showcases a variety of exhibits about the geology of the area, mining methods to extract the gold, the men to rushed in to get rich, and the merchants who supplied the miners with all of their needed supplies. The second floor displays many local historical artifacts.
There are three famous men we claim as our own: James B. Hume (1827-1904), prospector; Placerville Deputy Tax Collector, City Marshall, Chief of Police, Street Commissioner, El Dorado County Undersheriff, Sheriff, and Wells Fargo Detective (Chief Special Officer, pursuer of Black Bart); John M. “Wheelbarrow Johnny” Studebaker (1833-1917), Placerville wheelbarrow maker and the President of the Studebaker Automobile Company; and John A. “Snowshoe” Thompson (1827-1876), US mail carrier who in winter skied alone over the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Placerville to Genoa, Nevada.
If you are in the neighborhood, come in and say hello!