Ghost tour on Placerville's Main Street
The ghost tour on Placerville's Main Street was spooky fun for the crowd of about 20 attendee's. For the evening I impersonated "Savina Rollari", a woman who came to Placerville in 1862 and died there in 1912. Born in Switzerland, she made the 90 day journey on a sailing ship across the Atlantic Ocean from France to New York in the late 1850's. After a month on horseback crossing the Isthmus of Panama and a 2 week trip on the schooner "The Golden Gate" she arrived in San Francisco, headed straight for Coloma and then eventually lived in Placerville until her death. She and her husband Joseph ran one of the 500 or so saloons in Placerville and she was reputed to have made noose-shaped pretzels to serve bystanders with the beer they enjoyed while witnessing the hangings! She is buried at the Placerville Pioneer Cemetery on Bee Street but made a special appearance as tour guide for the evening.
On our tour we experienced the following:
•We heard about the haunting of poor Frances Page frequently seen at The Levee Restaurant. Her son was the last one to be hanged at the courthouse gallows in 1883 in Placerville and she has been seen in black mourning dress wandering about town. Owner Sonya Brown-Huff related a myriad of spooky experiences she and her family have had in the building that used to house O'Keefe's Furniture & Undertaking which was said could supply you with household goods from "the womb to the tomb"! Sonya did relate that despite the unexplained occurrences...all spirit activity at The Levee has been friendly and mischievous... it seems that the spirits there have a good sense of humor too!
•We got spooked at the Gothic Rose Antique & Curiosity Shop where the owner Crystal told us some haunting stories. Her collection of merchandise and artifacts range from the bizarre to the macabre and everything in-between. If you are in need of "Dragons Blood" or a shrunken skull The Gothic Rose is the place to find it. No doubt some of her items have "attachments" as she calls them...spirits that attach themselves to things as well as places. So purchase carefully because you may take home more than you bargained for!
•Placerville Hardware Store.. the oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi, was an unnerving delight where we saw hidden gems like the gold slots embedded in the counter into which miners once poured their gold dust into bags to be weighed because in the 1800's a miner could pay for purchases with gold dust. Upstairs we viewed cavernous store-rooms filled with ghostly entities and chilly "portals" to who knows where. The Fausel family has owned the store for over 62 years and the grandson of the original owner gave us a delightful tour complete with plenty of evidence of "entities" as they prefer to call them. Placerville hardware has been open since 1852 and still boasts the original floor boards with brass measuring tacks embedded therein for measuring ropes etc. No doubt some of the hanging ropes must have come from Placerville Hardware back in the day. They still boast the best selection of ropes in the county! Additionally there is every kind of kitchen gadget and hard-to-find hardware item in that store...and despite my own best efforts I have never been able to leave that store without finding something I "needed"....even if I did not know I needed it when I came in!
•Finally, we headed for Cuppa Coffee & More on Main Street, where the current owner related spooky tales of 2 mischievous young spirits they now call "Tom" & "Amy". We were treated to some delicious hand-made ghost cookies created especially for us. Yummy!!! The coffee house is well known for its great selection of gluten free (as well as original recipe) baked goods "and more" so should be a stop for anyone in need of a "cuppa" while strolling down Main Street. If you are lucky you may be able to catch a glimpse of Tom or Amy out of the corner of your eye.
At our last stop we were able to purchase "hot off the press" Linda Bottjer's new book "GOLD RUSH GHOSTS OF PLACERVILLE, COLOMA & GEORGETOWN". A must read for anyone interested in spooky tales. It is available at Cuppa Coffee & More at 442 Main Street and also from amazon.com. Even if you are not a believer in "spooks" it makes very interesting reading from a historical standpoint and is a coffee-table must for locals!
I highly recommend the various Ghost Tours for an evening or afternoon of "spooky" adventure. You can get more info about upcoming tours at: https://www.facebook.com/ghosttoursofplacerville There are currently tours in Coloma, Georgetown & Placerville that are informative, historical and fun and something really different to experience with family & friends.
Coming soon...Ghost Tours of Georgetown Cemetery!
Hope to see you on an upcoming tour....
Elke Schlosser (aka Savina)