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Doug Noble

My turn: History of Crawford and East Diamond Ditch detailed

As a 40-year customer on the East Diamond Ditch, I read with interest your article entitled “EID ditch customers get relief,” which appeared on the front page of the Wednesday, July 23, 2014, issue of your paper. This story gloriously paints the staff and Board of Directors of EID as knights on white horses riding […]

Where the heck is El Dorado Hills?

Most of the early history of the El Dorado Hills area occurred on and along two of the earliest major immigration and trade routes in early California, Green Valley Road to the north and to the south what is now generally Highway 50, but was historically known by many names including the Carson-Immigrant Trail, the […]

Stepping out: The fish and chips are really good

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” — Abraham Lincoln   Placerville Brewing Company Fish and chips at Placerville Brewing Company was on Russ Salazar’s bucket list and […]

Trailside Readers are more than guides

Book review Title: “The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, California” and “The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, Oregon and Washington” Author: Various; edited by Rees Hughes and Corey Lee Lewis, illustrated by Amy Uyeki. Publisher: The Mountaineers Books, 2011, Seattle, Wash.1-800-553-4453. Price: $19.95 each; paperback; 6 x 9 inches, 304 pages (California). 285 pages (Oregon and Washington); […]

American River Canyon

Where is it? Originating in the High Sierra, the South Fork of the American River flows through the American River Canyon westward along the northern El Dorado County border until joining the waters of the North and Middle forks and ultimately the Sacramento River on its way to the Pacific Ocean. How did it get […]

Cameron Park

Where is it? For 100 years after the discovery of gold at Coloma, the area just west of Shingle Springs that we now know as Cameron Park, remained relatively undeveloped, the land being primarily used for the raising of livestock and some grapes. How did it get its name? In the 1950s Robert and Ruth […]


Where is it? It is on the South Fork of the American River by Highway 49. How did it get its name? Coloma gets its name from a nearby Southern Maidu village called Culloma. What’s the history? It is most famous as the site of the 1848 California gold discovery by James Wilson Marshall when […]


Where is it? It is a small unincorporated community at the northern intersection of Highways 49 and 193. How did it get its name? Formerly known as Cave Valley because of the numerous caves in the local limestone deposits, the name was changed to Cool. For a number of years people believed that the town […]

Diamond Springs

Where is it? This Gold Rush town on Highway 49, is three miles south of Placerville. How did it get its name? It was the site of crystal clear springs where the arriving immigrants rested and watered their livestock while deciding whether to go north to Placerville and the northern mines or west to the […]

El Dorado

Where is it? It is by the east-west highway that replaced the old stage road and a north-south road that is now Highway 49. How did it get its name? Up until 1854 El Dorado was known as Mud Springs because the spring water was muddied by the livestock of the thousands of immigrants traveling […]

El Dorado County

Where is it? From its creation in February 18, 1850, as one of California’s original 27 counties, El Dorado County has seen its boundaries change nearly a dozen times — often drastically. It is east of Sacramento to the Nevada border at South Lake Tahoe. The area of El Dorado County is about 1,000,000 acres […]

El Dorado Hills

Where is it? It is the western most community along Highway 50. How did it get its name? The founders chose the name because of El Dorado County and it is in the foothills. What’s the history? El Dorado Hills is a relatively recent series of subdivisions on land that for years was used only […]

Fair Play

Where is it? The area of Fair Play is in the southern portion of El Dorado County. How did it get its name? The original settlement of Fair Play is attributed to two gentlemen, Charles Staples and N. Sisson, who arrived there around 1853. One day the two apparently fell into a disagreement that grew […]


Where is it? Folsom is east of Sacramento on the American River How did it get its name? The town is named after Captain Joseph Libby Folsom.   What’s the history? Folsom arrived in California in 1847 as a staff officer with the New York Volunteers. Upon their arrival in Alta California they found it […]


Where is it? It is located along a ridge in the northern portion of El Dorado County. How did it get its name? The first miners on the Georgetown Divide were a party of Oregonians. They arrived in June of 1849, and they were soon followed by more. A town was soon established and named […]


Where is it? The Gold Rush town is at the intersection of Highways 50 and 49. How did it get its name? First visited by white men in 1848, Placerville was known as Dry Diggings because the gold laden dirt had to be hauled to the creek to be washed. In 1849, three men were […]

Pollock Pines

Where is it? It is along a ridge east of Placerville by Cedar Grove. How did it get its name? Most towns along the Mother Lode were named after early settlers who located there. However, one town, Pollock Pines, was named after the people who actually created it, Hiram Robert Pollock, his wife Anna and […]

Shingle Springs

Where is it? It is west of the El Dorado area on Pleasant Valley Road. How did it get its name? There were clear springs and plenty of lumber for shingles to support the growth in the area. What’s the history? In March of 1849, a company of 10 men left Michigan determined to settle […]


Where is it? It is at the intersection of Mt. Aukum Road (E-16), Grizzly Flat Road and Buck’s Bar Road. How did it get its name? It was first settled in 1856 by some former residents of Somerset, Ohio, who gave it the name. Within a few years, there were several permanent residences in the […]

South Lake Tahoe

Where is it? Lake Tahoe is between California and Nevada with Highway 50 on the southern end and Highway 80 on the north. How did it get its name? Lake Tahoe was “discovered” from a distance in 1844 by Capt. John Charles Frémont. He named it ‘Lake Bonpland,” after a fellow-explorer, but the topographer only […]


Where is it? The present Swansboro is part of an early mining community known as Mosquito, which is located some 9 miles northeast of Placerville. How did it get its name? In 1968 the county’s first rural subdivision was proposed to be built in Mosquito. A portion of the property for the subdivision was owned […]

Stepping out: Hanging around with the SIRS

“Popcorn for breakfast! Why not? It’s a grain. It’s like, like, grits, but with high self-esteem.” — James Patterson   Here, there and everywhere Fifty Grand Steakhouse I was invited to be a guest speaker for the Pollock Pines SIRS (Sons In Retirement) last week. They meet for lunch one Thursday a month at Fifty […]

Stepping out: A dog day afternoon

“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” — Otto von Bismarck   Tale of the dog I spent much of last week in Carmichael, house-sitting for my daughter, and I always take advantage of my time there to check out various restaurants that people might like to visit. When […]

Stepping out: Take time to find Taqueria Tepa No. 2

“Eating is really one of your indoor sports. You play three times a day, and it’s well worth while to make the game as pleasant as possible.” — Dorothy Draper   Taqueria Tepa No. 2 — Mexican Food Taqueria Tepa No. 2 is one of those small, shopping center restaurants that you can walk by […]

Celebrate the ‘Summer of Riesling’

Riesling the Summer wine For the past two years the International Riesling Foundation, created to promote riesling as the world’s most noble and versatile white wine, has sponsored the “Summer of Riesling.” This year from June 21 until Sept. 22 some 300 wine bars and top restaurants in 32 states, joined by more than 100 […]

Stepping out: Find authentic food My Barrio

“Anytime there is Mexican food around, you can bet I’ll be eating it. I’m not a chocolate person and I’m not into sweets. I’m a meal person.” — Eva Longoria   My Barrio Taqueria A friend mentioned to me that a lady who worked for Colina de Oro in Diamond Springs is the new owner […]

Summer is salad season

Summer is a time for salads. Summer is a time for lighter meals. Those facts became more apparent after a call from Michelle Schanel, owner and chef at The Snooty Frog in Cameron Park’s Burke Junction, regarding exactly that and her solution. “It is becoming more common during the summer months for people to ask […]

Stepping out: Everyone gets a hug at Rose’s Garden Café

“Anybody who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy.” — Calvin Trillin   Rose’s Garden Café I recently received a note from John Anderson, who with his wife Rosie, own Rose’s Garden Café in Garden Valley. They wanted to let me know that they […]

Where the heck is Diamond Springs?

Is it Diamond Spring or Diamond Springs? And, is it named for the crystal clear springs where the immigrants watered their livestock or for the diamond-like quartz crystals that were found nearby? The first question has an easy answer. The name of the townsite was written both as Diamond Spring and Diamond Springs until July […]

Stepping out: Market and tacqueria make a great combination

“Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.” — Walt Kelly   Carniceria Y Taqueria Soto Some time ago I wrote about this great little restaurant, which I called the most hidden taqueria in the county. It is located at 175-A Placerville Drive in Placerville, right across the street from Raley’s, tucked in […]

Stepping out: Blimpie has some good food

“The small businessman is smart; he realizes there’s no free lunch. On the other hand, he knows where to go to get a good inexpensive sandwich.” — Adam Osborne   Blimpie Subs and Salads “Blimpie, you say, where around here is a Blimpie?” Most of you walk right by it and don’t see it. It […]

Stepping out: Burgers with a surprise

“You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars.” — Charles Kuralt   burgers ‘r us Late last fall I stopped by 6454, Suite 1, Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines, to talk with the really nice folks who were in the process of opening this restaurant, […]

Is it the water?

At this year’s Belltower Brewfest along Main Street in Placerville is on Saturday, June 30 from 6 until 9 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to taste a large number of different kinds of beer: ales, lagers, stouts, porters … and well, the list goes on and on. Eliminating the obvious added flavors, such as […]

Stepping out: New restaurant offers hot items

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” —  J.R.R. Tolkien   Los Pinos Restaurant and Bar — Fine Mexican Cuisine The first time I talked with Shannon Stoneman, the manager at the new Mexican restaurant in Cameron Park, Los Pinos, she had just […]

Where the heck is Coloma, Part II

Editor’s note: This is Part II of a two-part story on the origination of Coloma. Part I ran in the May 30 issue of the Mountain Democrat. There are obviously many tales that can be told about early Coloma and its citizens. After all, as a former publisher of the Mountain Democrat aptly put it, […]

Stepping out: Taste of Thai has good food the way you want it

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” — James Beard   Taste of Thai A while ago a friend mentioned that he had enjoyed lunch at Taste of Thai, the restaurant at 1160 Broadway in Placerville. Then I received a call from another friend at the newspaper who said the owner, Minnie, wanted me […]

Wines earn high marks

A panel of wine judges gathered in El Dorado County to select the winners in the El Dorado County Fair Commercial Wine Competition on May 18. The winners of double gold and gold medals, along with several special awards, including the Best of Show, were announced at a barbecue by guest master of ceremonies, TV […]

Stepping out: Good things are baking

“A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread — and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness — Oh, Wilderness were Paradise now!” — Omar Khayyam (1050-1123) I have two places to write about this week, both of which are bakeries owned by young ladies.   Sugar Lillie […]

Deadliest gunfight of 1854 recalled

A couple of months ago a copy of the January issue of the Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine was dropped off at the newspaper. In it was a story titled, “Mexican War Vet Wages Deadliest Gun Fight in American History.”  It is a story that seems a bit of a tall tale which probably bears […]

Stepping out: Marshall Hospital is most hospitable

“Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You’re not out of it until the computer says you’re out of it.” — Erma Bombeck   Marshall Hospital I recently had the “opportunity” to spend a couple of days at Marshall Hospital, where, I must admit, I was treated royally, […]

Where the heck is Coloma?

Editor’s note: This is Part I of a two-part story on the origination of Coloma. Part II will run at a later date. Some ask why it turned out that Coloma, which gets its name from a nearby Southern Maidu village with the name of Culloma, was the site of the California gold discovery. After […]

Book review: Extra good olive oil information

Book review Title: “Extra Virginity; The sublime and scandalous world of olive oil” Author: Tom Mueller Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co. Inc. New York Price: List price, $29.95: hardback, paperback; 9 ½ x 7 1/2 inches, 238 pages, illustrated. Also available in an audio and Kindle versions. Available: Online and in bookstores Several years […]

It is about the terroir

The annual Fair Play Festival “From Barbera to Zinfandel … a Safari through Fair Play’s Exotic Wines,” is just around the corner on Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3. The winegrape growing area around Fair Play is different from other areas of El Dorado County, different enough that they were awarded a separate designation […]

Stepping out: A beautiful place to eat good food

“Like tourists huffing and puffing to reach the peak we forget the view on the way up.” — Friedrich Nietzsche   Red Apple Café A couple of friends asked if I had recently been to the Red Apple Café (also known as the Apple Café) which is located at 2740 Highway 50 between Placerville and […]

Stepping out: The fries and onion rings are great

“French fries. I love them. Some people are chocolate and sweets people. I love French fries. That and caviar. — Cameron Diaz The New Haven My friend Russ Salazar and I had planned on giving the New Haven, the restaurant at 6396 Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines, a try last week, but he got […]

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