Painted in 1945 by Bill Nelson, the mural depicts Old Hangtown as it may have looked in 1849. The mural was commissioned by Nels Godlove, owner of the Hangman Tree Bar from 1945 to 1972. It is painted directly on the lath and plaster wall.
El Dorado Depot Sign
The wooden El Dorado sign was the original depot marker for the El Dorado train depot. It was located alongside the railroad tracks entering the depot in the town of El Dorado.
The Front Door
The front door was custom built by Geoff Kidder and patterned after the style of doors from the 1870s using mortise and tenon joints, meaning no screws were used. Geoff also reconstructed the 1880s style store front.
Shotgun Handle Doors
The doors were made by our friend JD Austin. The shotguns on the doors are 1850s percussion muzzle-loading shotguns. JD also made the window shutters on the Herrick Building next door and the iron doors next to the Historical Landmark. He is a creative and talented metal worker and enjoyed every project.
Original Wood Floor
The floor is the original 1880s floor. It has cigarette burns, scuff marks, and scratches near the entrance from rocks getting caught while opening the door.
The three chandeliers hanging from the center of the room were originally gas lamps from the 1880s that were later converted to electric.
The lanterns hanging from corbels are original Southern Pacific kerosene lamps that have been converted to electric.
Bar and Stools
The bar came out of the old Camenzind Bar in Sacramento. It is nearly 18' long and made out of solid redwood. Built around 1855, John Sutter regularly drank at this bar. The bar stools came out of the John Pearson Soda Works on the corner of Main Street and Cedar Ravine, which now hosts the Cozmic Cafe.
The decorative paneling was found under the drywall and restored. The unusual diagonal pattern may have been part of the barbershop motif.
Push Button Light Switches
The push-button light switches are reproductions of those used in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Like other fixtures in the building, what couldn’t be restored was replaced with reproductions.
Left over materials from the original Hangman’s Tree building were used to construct the Miner's Shack. The siding dates back to the 1880s. The slate tiles were part of the original roof of the Hangman and Herrick buildings. The Giant Gold Pan was a hardware store advertising display. They didn't really use a pan that big to pan gold.
Hank Monk was famous for driving the stagecoach carrying passenger Horace Greeley from Carson City to Placerville. He covered the distance of 109 miles in 10 hours. He is quoted in Mark Twain's book Roughing It as saying, “Keep your seat, Horace, and I'll get you there on time!”
Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain
Humorist Mark Twain wrote about his experiences in the West during the 1860s and joked,“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
Miner's Pick and Axe
The miner's pick and axe were found while trenching a permanent foundation under the building. When found, they looked like giant dirt clods as they were rusty and decayed. Local high school teacher Chris Smith restored the pick and axe by putting them in an electrolysis bath for about two weeks, which pulled the metal back out of the rust. Mr. Smith did a great job of putting new handles on the pick and axe.
George, the Hangman's Dummy
George is an icon of Old Hangtown. He has been swinging for over 75 years and has been photographed by visitors from all over the world. George looks over The Hangman’s Tree Historical Landmark #141, which gave Placerville its moniker of Old Hangtown back in 1849 when justice was dispatched quickly.
Tables and Chairs
The tables and chairs are 1900s bar furniture which was purchased from antique shops and were used in Sam's Town in Cameron Park for years until it closed in 2001. They were in the Gunfighter's and Diamond Jim rooms in Sam's Town. The wainscoting was found behind mahogany paneling and repainted. New chair rail and baseboard were made for it.