Linda Bottjer, founder of Gold Rush Tales, has put her passion for history, tours, and wine to good use! She and her team lead tours in Placerville, Coloma, Apple Hill, and other parts of El Dorado County and the Sierra Foothills. Whether your interest is history, food, wine, horse rides, or combinations of those, they have something for you. They even offer “Bark and Boo” tours where you can bring your dogs! Eden Vale Inn is dog-friendly, so we love that one!
Gold Rush Tales’ specialty is a fabulous ghost tour of historic Placerville, once know as “Hangtown.” The tour guides fill the one-hour easy stroll down Main Street with funny, entertaining, and well researched historical stories of the town… and spine-tingling stories of people who didn’t survive the Gold Rush but have been seen and felt ever since.
Why Placerville? Almost 30 people were strung up in Hangtown over almost 40 years, until in 1883 the State of California ordered them to stop. There were even “gallows kits” that were popular at the time. “1850 was a big year for deaths,” explained Linda, and some of the ghosts still populate the town. Learn about miners and criminals who linger, the little girl Catherine who has also stayed around, some odd spirits over Hangtown Creek, or perhaps see Great Aunt Blanche! Some nights, say tour-goers, there is a great deal of “orb” and other energetic activity. Your tour ends with your photo and follow-up email showing you if any activity was captured with your image. Spooky!
While the ghost stories give a pleasurable tingle, the tour has a positive feel. Overall, “we’re here to celebrate the history of the area, and the ingenuity of the people who survived,” explained Linda. Their tours are a great way to learn about the town, too. For instance, the tour starts (or ends, depending on the schedule) at 594 Main Street. This is the Soda Works building – where, yes, water from a local springs was served with fruit juice. Who knew? You’ll also learn history of the County Museum, Court House, the oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi, and spirits near them all. Placerville is loaded with quirky, funny and some scary entities, and the “Ghost Tours of Placerville” is held year-round.
If it’s wine you want, go on a “Grapes and Graves” tour in Placerville or Coloma. Wanna be ghost-free? Gold Rush Tales also lead groups to Apple Hill, and can design a custom outing for you anywhere in Northern California’s Gold Country.
Eden Vale Inn has partnered with Gold Rush Tours. Contact us to learn more about our packages. You can soak away your ghost-given goosebumps in our wonderful Japanese soaking tubs, and tell us your stories over our delicious breakfast. Enjoy!