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One-Stop Shopping on Historic Main Street
By Lisa Crummett
[printed in the El Dorado County Visitor's Guide, 2004-05]

Placerville’s Historic Main Street district is vital and thriving. Throughout its history, several famous entrepreneurs have conducted business on Main Street. Philip Armour (a meat packer), Mark Hopkins (Central Pacific Railroad financier) and John Studebaker (automobile maker) were among Main Street’s famous shopkeepers. Boasting “the oldest continuously operating hardware store east of the Mississippi,” Placerville makes it easy for visitors to imagine the day when miners came into town for their supplies, meals and entertainment. Today, housed in many of the city’s historic buildings, are unique specialty shops, art galleries, antique stores, great restaurants and an assortment of service businesses. These businesses provide a wide variety of goods and services to both visitors and locals.

Once referred to as an “antique lover’s shopping experience,” Historic Main Street has so much more to offer visitors today. Variety is the name of the game in shopping with an extensive selection of retail offerings. Find everything from jewelry to flowers, art, clothing, outdoor sporting equipment, hardware, garden items, furniture, books, gifts, gourmet foods, wine, bath items, kitchenware, framing, baked goods, paper supplies, stamping accessories and much more. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Historic Main Street, it must not exist!
[Businesses on Main Street]

In addition, Placerville’s Historic Main Street is home to a variety of fine art galleries that showcase artists of local and national renown. The gallery scene is celebrated on Historic Main Street on the third Saturday evening of every month for the Third Saturday Art walk. These changing art shows feature many different media, including sculpture, pottery, oils, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, bronze, jewelry, photography, textiles, Native American and western art, woodwork and more. Many of the galleries offer hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and wine to add to the ambiance of the event each month.
[Art Galleries]

Gold Country Artists Gallery
Gold Country Artists Gallery

New to the scene on Historic Main Street are classes offered by merchants. Have you ever considered taking a crafting class that teaches the fine art of making embossed wedding invitations or cards? Or how about learning to create artwork from pastels or lino-cut wood blocks, or jewelry from discarded items? Or, learn how to stitch up some great needlepoint gifts for those “hard to buy for” friends and relatives. A wide variety of classes exists for both young and old in the areas of arts and crafts. Classes make great gifts for that hard-to-shop-for person, or as a way to get friends and family together for a fun new activity.

And when you are done exploring the many fine shops on Historic Main Street, don’t forget to rest your weary feet and revitalize yourself in one of the many fine restaurants or taverns. Cuisine of all types and price ranges exist for lunch and dinner and are a great way to soak up some of the local scenery. Parking is free on the street, in the Center Street Garage or in many of the public lots up and down Main Street. Enjoy the hometown friendliness and hospitality of the merchants on Historic Main Street for your next visit to the gold county.
[Parking & Map]



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This site is sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association
Photos courtesy of Paul Cockrell, Craig Koski, and Bill Robinson
Page Last updated: 28-Oct-2015 10:44 AM