Museum Exhibits

The County Museum's collections focus on the history of El Dorado County.  Exhibits begin with baskets and tools made by skilled artists of the Maidu, Miwok and Washoe Native American people who lived in the area before and after the Gold Rush.  Finely made feasting baskets in the traditional designs and portable grinding rocks are just a few of the artifacts on display.

image of Baskets

Gold mining equipment, such as stamp mills, gold pans, and other tools are on display.  A rare wheelbarrow made by John M. Studebaker in the 1850s, authenticated by Studebaker when he visited Placerville in 1912, is also on display.  

Gold soon became hard to find, and many people turned to other ways to make a living. El Dorado County became a center for ranching, vineyards, and fruit orchards. Many pioneers operated stores, hotels and businesses. Schools, churches and civic organizations were established. 

Outside, a five-stamp mill used to crush rock, a large flywheel powered by a steam engine ore cars, an orchard sprayer and antique farming tools show what it was needed to get the job done.  Artifacts from the past such as a sheepherder’s covered wagon, a parlor from a fine home, and a General Store, c. 1900 are also on display.

Now on Exhibit at the 
El Dorado County Historical Museum

Back to School: a history of schools in El Dorado County
There were many one room schoolhouses in the county - when six children of school age lived in a community, they were required to provide a school building, a teach, and elect a school board.

Women Making History in
El Dorado County!

This exhibit is dedicated to the many women in El Dorado County's p
ast who met the demands of their times, pushing boundaries, and inspiring us to face the challenges of today.

There are stories we share about women who lived and worked in El Dorado County - this is just a small selection based upon the photographs and artifacts in the Museum's collection.

This beautiful crazy quilt pillow, made by Lucinda Nail; the generous bequests made by Placerville reside
nt Stella Ralston Tracy; the early automobile dealership run by Gertrude Kirk Cornelson; the teaching career of Margaret Kelly; and so many more....

On exhibit now!

Do you have an artifact to donate?

If your artifact is from El Dorado County and is yours to donate, please contact Mary Cory.  You can email a photograph, a description of its condition and history, and Mary will bring it to the Historic Museum Commission for their review.