If you haven’t visited the El Dorado County Historical Museum lately, it’s time for another look see.
On display Jan. 18 will be a new exhibit featuring a variety of scales, including a 1915 scale from the Fulton Market and a scale used to weigh gold. The latter came from the Georgetown area and was used to weigh over $3 million worth of gold.
The museum will also be publishing two new books soon. “They are a great way to share the history of El Dorado County”, said Mary Cory, administrator of the museum.
One of the books has as its working title “A History of El Dorado County” by Lisa Butler. The other is being called “Then and Now.” It compares historical photos with current ones and is being worked on by different people. The museum has previously published two other books — “A Glittering Pot of Gold” and “Placerville Reflections.”
Work is also moving ahead on the Historical Railroad Park. Established in 2009, it uses tracks dating back to 1888. Volunteers are currently working on repairing and straightening the ties on a section of the tracks, acquiring and restoring railroad equipment, and providing short rides.
Two Sundays a month the public can ride the train but they should call the museum first to ensure the train is operating on that particular Sunday. Recently a replica of a freight depot donated by Ed Hagens was completed with the addition of a platform. When finished the park will include an exhibit building, turntable, and restoration shop. There will also be trails for walking and riding that parallel the tracks.
The museum also continues to be the archive for El Dorado County and is frequently used by those doing research. A large contingent of volunteers helps to acquire and archive records, including old court cases; probate reports; coroner reports; old back issues of the Mountain Democrat; birth, marriage and obituary notices; genealogy records; mining records; and burial permits. According to Mary Cory, there are 80 to 100 cemetaries in El Dorado County. Most of these are pioneer cemeteries that were used by the early settlers in this area. The larger cemeteries are recent additions.
The museum is located at 104 Placerville Drive. The phone number is 530-621-5865. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 10 to 4 and Sundays 12 to 4. Tuesdays are for research only and hours are 9 to 3.