“Our mission is to honor the people who came before us by rescuing, preserving, researching, and displaying the County’s rich history to ensure that its significance will be appreciated for generations to come.” 

The El Dorado County Historical Society was founded in 1938 as a private non-profit organization. It is a volunteer group of generous and dedicated members of the community, who are active throughout El Dorado County.

Since its incorporation, the financial strength of EDCHS has come first from its strong membership base and second from the annual donations received from its supporters. If you currently are not a member, please consider joining and continuing the legacy of 78 years of continuous service to the County.

See the membership package (below) currently offered as part of the Society’s partnership with the El Dorado Western Railroad (“the living history program of the El Dorado County Historical Museum”) including the discounts on merchandise purchased at the Fountain & Tallman and County Historical Museums. Join Now!


Ticket to Ride El Dorado Western

See Historic Placerville Schools

El Dorado Grammar School

Coloma School House ca.1930

Buckeye School - 1948

Placerville Grammar School

Georgetown School - 1947

Indian Diggings School

Shingle Springs School

We hope you enjoy the photos. Check Back Soon for changing Slideshow Themes


El Dorado Western RailroadEl Dorado Western Railroad (“the living history program of the El Dorado County Historical Museum”)

Find out about train rides!

Visit El Dorado Western Railway Website


4H Pictorial Tour of Main Street Placerville


Jacob Gray, El Dorado County 4-H’er, working with the county Surveyor’s Office has created a tour of Main Street Placerville.

Exploring Historic Main Street Placerville



Placerville Historical Markers


Historical markers are found throughout Placerville. Use Google Maps to help explore and find these hidden treasures. Each marker tells an important fact about our local history.

By using the map information on this website, a self-guided experience can be planned out and applied.

As you read the markers note the year and by what organization it was placed. Markers are a very important interpretative tool in discovering historical information about a specific place and time.

Recent Publications

Then and Now Book

Then and Now Then and Now was inspired by the collection of historical photographs housed at the El Dorado County Historical Museum. These images show a moment in time, caught forever through the old photographic process. The old photographs are matched with Harry Critchfield’s current photographs with text researched and written by Joyce Thompson, a long-time volunteer with the El Dorado County Historical Museum. These photographs, old and new, help us appreciate the buildings that are still here, and acknowledge the ones that are gone.



Walking Tours of Historic Main Street

DSC_0023-001The El Dorado County Historical Society is conducting guided tours of Historic Main Street by reservation.  Groups can schedule a tour by contacting Marilyn Ferguson at (530) 626-0773 Wednesday through Sunday between 11 am and 4 pm. Tours can be booked for any day or time, and you will be contacted to confirm your tour date/time prior to your tour occurring.

The tour usually begins at the Fountain & Tallman Museum, 524 Main Street and lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.  The tour guides are dressed in period costume and describe historic locations on Main Street between Cedar Ravine and Sacramento Street.  Although the tour is free, donations to the Fountain/Tallman are encouraged at a suggested rate of $2 per adult or $5 per family.


Historic El Dorado County Films

Michigan California Lumber Co.
1939-1941 LAST OF
Blair Borothers Lumber Mill


Historic Museums Alliance

Amador County Museum                              http://amadorcountyhistoricalsociety.org
El Dorado County Historical Museum          http://museum.edcgov.us
Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum      http://grovelandmuseum.org
La Grange Museum                                       http://facebook.com/lagrangemuseum
Mariposa Museum                                        http://mariposamuseum.com
Northern Mariposa County Museum           http://coultervillehistorycenter.org
Oakdale Museum                                          http://oakdalemuseum.org
Oakdale Cowboy Museum                           http://oakdalecowboymuseum.org
Sierra Nevada Logging Museum                   http://sierraloggingmuseum.org
Tuolumne City Memorial Museum              http://tuolumnemuseum.wordpress.com
Tuolumne County Museum                          http://tchistory.org

Lo_Res MusumAlliancebrochureFnlcover    Lo_Res MusumAlliancebrochure 3fold Back FallUpdate

Pick up a copy of “Your Passport To Historical Museums In The Mother Lode” brochure at the Fountain & Tallman Museum or El Dorado County Historical Museum today.

Restorations on the Historic Herrick Building Herrick Building