National Register of Historic Places in El Dorado County

National Register #85003326: John Pearson Soda Works in Placerville
24 February 2007
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National Register #85003326
John Pearson Soda Works
594 Main Street
First Story Built 1859
Second Story Added 1897

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:

Butte Store in Amador County
Calabozo in Hornitos
Civil War Armory in Georgetown
Compere Store in Murphys
Downieville Museum in Downieville

Fountain & Tallman Soda Works in Placerville
Gamble Building in Big Oak Flat
Hirshfeldter Building in Downieville
Honigsberger Store in Copperopolis
Italian Store in Douglas Flat

Kohler Store in Washington
Mackerman & Company Building in Downieville
Masonic Lodge in Columbia
Masonic Lodge in Hornitos
Nevada Brewery in Nevada City

Nevada Theatre in Nevada City
Odd Fellows Hall in Big Oak Flat
Old Segale Building in Murphys
Old Stone Garage in Truckee
Plymouth Trading Post in Plymouth

Pearson Soda Works in Placerville
Sam Choy Store in Angels Camp
Stage Stop in La Grange
Valente Building in Murphys
Watts & Tannahill Company Store in Groveland

Wells Fargo Bank and Stage Stop in Georgetown
Wells Fargo Express in Chinese Camp
Wells Fargo Express in French Corral
Wells Fargo & Company in North San Juan

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