Fountain & Tallman Museum

Built in 1852

Old Hangtown

524 Main Street
Wednesday - Sunday
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

(530) 626-0773

Exploring Main Street
Fountain Tallman Museum
First floor exhibits
Second Floor Exhibits
Museum Gift Shop

Join Us

El Dorado County

Membership Form

Board Members
Kris Payne


Joyce Thompson
Treasurer Carol Sexton
Secretary Mary Cory
Finance Jarel Culver
Publications Joyce Thompson
Frances Kilday
Fund Raising

Colleen Moore

Publicity P.J.Patton
Historic Trails Douglas Walker
Don Uelmen
Membership Secretary Mary Cory
Newsletter Editor Caroline Uelmen
Webmaster Dee Owens

The El Dorado County Historical Society wants to thank the El Dorado Museums Foundation for the grant the Society has received since 2012. This grant enables the Society to maintain and staff the El Dorado County Historical Society Museum (Fountain Tallman Building.)






Second Floor Exhibits

Button Display

by Sue Rhoades


A Collection of Victorian Glass Buttons, Golden Age Gilts (1830-1850), and China Calico Buttons

Snowshoe Thompson

skiisNorwegian John Tostensen, known here as Snowshoe Thompson, carried the mail from Placerville to Genoa, Nevada for 20 years beginning in 1856. At the time it was the only mail link during the winter months from western Utah Territory to California. He also operated a freight service on the Carson-Murphy and Donner Pass-Cisco Routes. He called his skis "snow skates" or snow shoes and he made them himself from barn or wagon wood sealed with buttermilk paint. He died in 1876 and he, his wife and son are buried, side by side, in the Genoa Cemetery in Nevada.

Washing Machine

washing machineThe St. Francis Hotel, located on the lot that is now the site of the new City Hall, used this washing machine made of wood in 1890. This was a great improvement over the washboard. A hand operated lever causes the agitator to rotate back and forth, propelling clothing against the corrugated sides. A hand crank turns the wringer. During a fire at the hotel the washing machine was thrown into Hangtown Creek. Later the washer was found and rescued by the local businessman, H. E. Dillinger, who used it in a display at his appliance store. When the business was sold, Mr. Dillinger donated it to the Museum.


Stella Ralston Tracy

tableAt the age of 19, Stella Ralston Tracy was an 1895 graduate of San Jose Normal School. She taught school for eight years before her marriage to Perry Tracy in 1903. Her mother, Georgie Congdon Ralston, taught her the musical arts. She composed music at age seven and was known for her acting and singing in plays. She was a member of the Eastern Star, Shakespeare Club, and our historical society. She donated her home and furnishings at 2956 Coloma Street to the historical society. She also left a $500,000 scholarship fund for the students at El Dorado High School.

The Tracy family's line of fine shoes were hand made. Shoemakers used a fabricated upper of multiple parts that was stitched to a leather sole. A "last" made of iron or wood was used to form the shoe. Shoe repair was also done at Tracy's 1860 store.



insulatorsThe museum building was the PG & E District headquarters from 1917 to 1960. A display of insulators used for the power grid is on display as well as information about the role of electricity in the economic developement of El Dorado county industry.