El Dorado County
- California Foundry History Institute
- Clarksville Region Historical Society
- D. L. Bliss State Park
- Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park
- El Dorado County Historical Museum
- El Dorado County Historical Society
- El Dorado County Library
- El Dorado County Pioneer Cemeteries Commission
- El Dorado Western Railway Foundation
- Emerald Bay State Park
- Gold Bug Park & Mine
- Gold Discovery Park Association
- Heritage Association of El Dorado County
- Lake Tahoe Historical Society and Museum
- Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
- Placerville Historical Museum
- Rescue Historical Society
- Vikingsholm Mansion & Visitor’s Center
- Washoe Meadows State Park
Photo Gallery (.mov)
Established in 1997, the California Foundry History Institute (CFHI) is a non-profit educational organization incorporated in the state of California and dedicated to the collection and preservation of historical records pertaining to the history of the foundry industry in California.
An important part of this work is the recording, preservation, indexing and transcription of oral interviews with the men and women who have played a significant role in the development of the foundry industry in California.
CFHI also collects and preserves documents, photographs, artifacts and ephemera related to the history of foundries in California. Much of this historical information can be seen at the two CFHI museums in Lodi and McClellan (near Sacramento). The McClellan museum participates in Sacramento County's annual Museum Day where hundreds of visitors tour Sacramento's museums.
The Clarksville Region Historical Society was organized and incorporated as a private foundation in 2007 by a group of citizens in the Clarksville area, now known as El Dorado Hills, to promote, aid, and augment the collection and preservation of the history of Clarksville.
Emerald Bay, California
Phone: (530) 525-7277, summer (530) 525-3345
From promontories such as Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park you can see over one hundred feet into the depths of Lake Tahoe. On the crest of Eagle Falls in Emerald Bay State Park, you can see a brilliant panorama of Emerald Bay, Fannette Island, Lake Tahoe, and the distant Nevada shore.
The park is named for a pioneering lumberman, railroad owner, and banker of the region. The D.L. Bliss family donated 744 acres to the State Park system in 1929.
Phone: (530) 525-7982, summer (530) 525-3345
The beautiful grounds of the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion are available for special events such as weddings, school or family reunions, and corporate dinners. The grounds have spectacular views of Lake Tahoe with the 12,000 square foot mansion serving as an elegant backdrop.
Take an informative tour, wander among the historical artifacts, or research a family ancestor. The Historical Museum is the place to learn about the fascinating history of El Dorado County, one of California’s original and most historic counties.
The Mission of the County Museum is to exhibit and interpret the heritage of the County in a current, accurate, and engaging manner; to be a valuable historical resource to the community through its well-organized research facility, historical exhibits, and educational programs; to collect, document, and preserve artifacts and records significant to the history of El Dorado; County using the highest standards of scholarship and professional museum and archival practices; to provide a rewarding experience for volunteers and enhance the museum's significance to the community.
524 Main Street
Placerville, CA 95667
The El Dorado County Historical Museum opened its doors for the first time during the El Dorado County Fair in August of 1974. The building had been built as a museum on a Fairgrounds parking lot. The lead agency for its construction was the El Dorado County Parks and Recreation Commission, with most funds coming through grants from California State Parks. Prior to the construction of a dedicated building, the County had collected artifacts through the Chamber of Commerce, which had a small display in their facility on Sacramento Street.
In 1968, Stella Tracy, a prominent member of the Placerville community, left a bequest to the El Dorado County Historical Society of her house on Coloma Street and all its contents. Since the house was deemed inappropriate for a museum because of its location, the Historical Society began a campaign to raise community support for a County Historical Museum. After the construction of the building, the El Dorado County Historical Society continued to support the County Museum through volunteer staffing and funds to purchase and install exhibits.
The County Museum now concentrates its collecting on the history of El Dorado County. Along with a large collection of artifacts that range from Native American baskets, household items, historical clothing, antique wagons, to mining and railroading equipment, the County Museum has collected archival and historical documents relating to the history of the County. As a result, the County Museum houses an extensive Research Room where visitors can conduct research on their family histories, local properties and events, mining and railroading.
- To identify pioneer cemeteries in El Dorado County
- To determine those which are in crises, to address protection, preservation, restoration and conservation needs, and work together to accomplish these tasks
- To represent the needs of the county's pioneer cemeteries in public forum and through education of the public to the value and historical significance of such sites.
The primary objectives of the Commission shall be to devise, study and implement methods to ensure for the protection, restoration and preservation of El Dorado County's pioneer cemeteries.
P.O. Box 3517
Diamond Springs, CA 95619
Phone: (530) 621-5865
The foundation is a non-profit organization allied with the El Dorado County Historical Museum whose members have been restoring vintage railroading equipment on the museum’s fairgrounds site. They are also the spark behind the effort to develop a branch rail museum in the town of El Dorado.
Eldorado National Forest
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Phone: (530) 541-3030, summer (campground)
(530) 541-6498, summer (visitor center)
In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite. The natural beauty, geology and history of this unique island make it one of the highlights of any visit to the Lake Tahoe area.
The park features Vikingsholm, one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere and the "Tea House" on Fannette Island, the only island to be found in all of Lake Tahoe.
Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park in 1994. It is the resting place for many boats, launches and barges used in the lake before the turn of the century, during the heyday of Emerald Bay Resort and used in the construction of Vikingsholm.
Gold Bug Park offers a variety of activities for both families and groups. The park features over 61 acres of natural flora and fauna to explore while discovering the rich history of the California Gold Rush era.
Activities at Gold Bug Park:
- Gold Bug Mine
Gold Bug Mine is the namesake of the park. Venture deep inside the mountain with an self-guided audio tour of this impressive mine.
- The Miner's Blacksmith Shop
The Miner's Blacksmith Shop is our newest addition at Gold Bug Park. Located behind the Hendy Stamp Mill, visitors can observe the blacksmiths at work. Items forged on site are available for purchase at Hattie's Gift Shop.
- Priest Mine
The Priest Mine was dug into the hillside by hand in the 1850's. You may only enter the Priest Mine by guided tour.
- Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill
The Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill is still housed on its original site. The mill has since been enclosed in a stamp mill building that houses a working model as well as a mineral display.
- Hattie's Museum
Explore the rich history of the California Gold Rush and the mining equipment typically used in hard rock mining.
- Hattie's Gift Shop
Pick up a book to discover more about this historic region, or bring home a souvenir of your visit.
- Liberty Pavilion
Our large covered picnic area is available for casual picnics or group events.
We offer miles of well-groomed hiking trails to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area.
- Gem Panning
As an alternative to traditional gold panning, we offer gem panning that can be enjoyed by all ages.
- Meagher House
The Meagher House will soon be converted into a nature interpretive center.
The Gold Discovery Park Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the interpretation and conservation of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and works in conjunction with the state park to provide funding for the various projects and programs associated with the Park.
It is our mission and goal to develop, encourage and enhance programs of the Park Since 1982, the Gold Discovery Park Association has enhanced the life of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park by raising funds that are used exclusively for the benefit of this important Park.
The Heritage Association is a non-profit corporation devoted to the research and preservation of the colorful history and folklore of El Dorado County. Winner of two awards from the California Conference of Historical Societies.
In 1968, a group of volunteers gathered artifacts and established a small museum in the city of South Lake Tahoe. In 1983, the museum moved from our log cabin into the former county library where our 2009 remodel offers a fresh, new museum experience. The museum is operated by volunteers with a Board of Directors elected by members of the Historical Society and supported by donations, memberships and fund raisers.
P.O. Box 265
Coloma, CA 95613
Phone: (530) 622-3470
James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River in the valley the Nisenan Indians knew as Cullumah. This event led to the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere and was the spark that ignited the spectacular growth of the West during the ensuing decades. The gold discovery site, located in the still visible tailrace of Sutter's sawmill, in present day Coloma California, is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation.
James W. Marshall found shining flecks of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building for himself and John Sutter. This discovery in 1848 changed the course of California's and the nation's history. See a replica of the original sawmill and over 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits.
Visitors have the opportunity to try panning for gold in the American River and enjoy hikes and picnics under the riparian oak woodlands. Overlooking the beautiful river canyon, where the gold discoverer rests today, see California's first historic monument, the statue of James Marshall pointing at his gold discovery site.
Throughout the year the park provides daily interpretive programs at the sawmill replica. Participate in special events, exhibits and "Live History Days" planned regularly throughout the year; contact the Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center for details. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is proud to now offer the Eureka Experience school and group programs, and gold panning lessons for park visitors.
524 Main Street
Placerville, CA 95667
Phone: (530) 626-0773
The Fountain & Tallman Museum is owned and operated by the El Dorado County Historical Society. The two-story masonry structure was built in 1852 as a Soda Works. It is the oldest building in Placerville having survived fires in the 1850s.
After extensive renovation, the Placerville Historical Museum opened in 1983. The building is designated a California State Historical Landmark and is also on the National Register of Historic Sites as Fountain-Tallman Soda Works.
The Museum’s exhibits are found on two levels. On the first floor are Gold Rush era artifact displays and a gift shop. Upstairs are displays of early life and business in the County.
The Rescue Historical Society is a non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to the enjoyment of sharing information about the founders, history and events in the Rescue, California and surrounding area.
The town of Rescue, California was officially recognized June 12, 1895 with the establishment of the post office headed by the first postmaster, Dr. Merritt Aquila Hunter. Prior to this time, Rescue had been an area of intense gold mining activity with business supporting the mining interests. Buildings of the past included the Kelly Creek Store, the Kelly Creek Slaughter house, cabins and numerous mining shacks.
Rescue was located on the Old Coloma Road between Coloma and Sacramento, a major thoroughfare during gold rush times. A short distance to the North of town was a brick factory that was destroyed by fire before establishment of the Post Office. Ruins of the brick factory are visible today.
11001 West Lake Boulevard
Tahoma, CA 96142
Phone: (530) 525-3345
Vikingsholm is located at the head of Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California. This magnificent "castle" is a unique blend of Nature's spectacular beauty and man's architectural ingenuity. Vikingsholm, situated majestically among towering pines and cedars, was built as a summer home by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight in 1929.
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Phone: (530) 525-7232
Washoe Meadows State Park consists of meadows and woodlands in the valley at the base of the escarpment leading to Echo Summit. The park was named for the Native Americans who inhabited the area for thousands of years. The park lands have not been developed.