National Register of Historic Places in El Dorado County
This property, one of several early Soda Works in Placerville, is a significant reminder of one of the city's important 19th century economic activities. It is associated with an important local merchant - the Scottish immigrant John McFarland Pearson - and his family who used the property for ice storage, bottled beverage production, and liquor sales.
The building is a notable local example of its type and method of construction, with an 1859 lower story of cut stone and an 1897 upper story of stone and brick; it remains as one of the city's oldest commercial buildings without major alterations.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination.
Gold Rush Stonemasons
Mining camps started as clusters of tents and other makeshift shelters. If the mine was productive, wooden buildings were erected and a town was born.
Conflagrations were a recurring curse. Often entire town were repeatedly destroyed by fire. Stonemasons, especially Italian immigrants from Liguria, began building "fire proof" banks and stores of stone or brick with iron doors and iron window shutters to protect the contents from fire.
Many of these stone buildings survive. Some of them, such as the Butte Store, are the sole reminders of a lost mining town.
Some of these buildings are: