Last modified: 2013-10-14 by rick wyatt
Keywords: placerville | california | el dorado county |
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Although El Dorado County has its own flag, apparently its county seat does not. The municipal seal is very colorful and interesting, and is redolent of the city's past as a center of the California Gold Rush of 1849. The format is circular, with the outer ring in deep blue. At the top of this outer ring are the words 'CITY OF PLACERVILLE' in gold block lettering written in a Ballyhoo font, while at the bottom is the date '1854' in miniscule silver numbers. Beneath the date are the words 'OLD HANGTOWN' in silver block lettering in an Old West font, reflecting the town's history where justice was both quick and rough. The central image depicts a typical '49er' panning for gold in the river. The river itself is a similar color to the outer ring, the riverbank is green, the sky is blue, and a fluffy white cloud frames the miner. To his left a lone tree proper rises vertically, and projecting from it is a branch with what appears to be a lantern suspended halfway along its length and a bird's nest at the very end. The 49er himself is wearing a crumpled brown hat, a red flannel shirt, blue jeans (Levis of course - he would have been one of the original customers!), and black boots.
Ron Lahav, 20 April 2005
Placerville is the county seat of El Dorado County. El Dorado is so named because it is where gold was first discovered in California (at Coloma, a dozen miles or so from Placerville). "Placer" (pronounced PLASS-er), as in Placerville or placer mining, is derived from a Spanish word and means "sand" or "gravel." (The Spanish word, "placel," apparently meant "sandbank." It was most commonly used by sailors until it became connected with the sandy banks of mountain rivers.) Panning for gold involves swishing sand in a pan of water to separate the heavier gold flecks or small nuggets from the grains of sand. The figure in the seal is panning for gold, presumably in one of the local waterways in Placerville, most likely Hangtown Creek or Weber Creek.
Edmond M. Jacoby, 14 June 2010