Hangtown’s Gold Bug Park and Mine in Placerville will be open all three days over the Presidents’ Day weekend, the city’s Recreation and Park’s Division announced. The rarely seen Priest Mine will also be open for guided tours.
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“We’re responding to the public’s interest in keeping the Gold Bug Mine and the park’s historic attractions open on the holidays. That’s typically when our schools are closed and families are looking for something local, interesting and inexpensive to do together,” said Frank Jacobi, the park’s director. “This will be the first time the park is open on this particular holiday. If there’s a good response from the public, we’ll certainly consider being open for other holidays.”
A special addition to the weekend’s activities will be guided tours of the historic Priest Mine all three days.
“The Priest Mine is seldom open to the public,” said Jacobi. “We’re providing a limited number of docent-guided tours to entice visitors to the park. One truly unique aspect about this historic mine are the thousands of pick marks on the walls and ceiling. Each mark gives testament to the grueling, back-breaking life of a hard rock miner who was driven by dreams of gold and riches.”
Gold Bug Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Point of Interest on the California Registry.
Jacobi said there will be audio tours of the Gold Bug hard rock mine, plus stamp mill presentations and continuous blacksmith demonstrations each day of the long weekend. The park’s other attractions include the mining museum, hiking trails, gift shop and the Liberty picnic pavilion. The park and the tours will be available rain or shine.
Gold Bug Park’s gates are open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the Presidents’ Day weekend, the mine, museum, gift shop, stamp mill and blacksmith shop will all be open from noon to 4 p.m. The last audio tour will be available at 3:30 p.m. The Priest Mine tours will be limited, on a first-come basis, to 15 people and will be held at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. each day.
Free admission to the park includes parking and use of the hiking trails and pavilion. There is a cost for the Gold Bug Mine tour, which includes a self-guided audio wand, the use of a hard hat and admission to the museum, stamp mill and blacksmith shop. The special Priest Mine tour will be a nominal, additional cost to the price of the Gold Bug audio tour.
Gold Bug Park is located at 2635 Gold Bug Lane, one mile off of Highway 50 at Bedford Avenue in Placerville. For more information contact the park at 530-642-5207 or go to goldbugpark.org.