‘Old Hangtown’ (as Placerville is fondly known, because five men were hung here in 1849) has always relied on travelers passing through for its livelihood. Originally it was a destination for gold seekers who reached California by following the South Fork of the American River. In 1857 the first stagecoach to cross the Sierra Nevada linked Placerville to Nevada’s Carson Valley - a route that eventually became part of the nation’s first transcontinental stagecoach route. Today, Placerville is a gas and food stop for people traveling between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe on Hwy 50. Also the El Dorado County seat, the town has a thriving and well-preserved downtown with antique shops, outdoor activity stores, galleries and character-filled bars.