Historic Sites and Points of Interest in El Dorado County
Pride of the Sierras
Georgetown was founded in 1849 by George Phipps, a member of a party of sailors prospecting for gold, who first pitched his tent near the head of what is now known as Empire Canyon. George's town quickly developed into a center of commerce, providing supplies to gold miners working the many claims in the region.
A fire om July 14, 1852 began when a traveling photographer, trying to photograph a deceased miner, accidentally set ablaze the "Round Tent," a gambling saloon owned by Pete Valery. Within half an hour the business area of town was mostly destroyed. The town was moved North to its present location on top of the ridge. In a grand display of community spirit miners volunteered to clear trees and brush, and within days rebuilt the town; this time with a street 100 feet wide.
Within Georgetown a small community in the lower area of town became known as Growlersburg, and was inhabited by those claiming to be part of the original Phipps party. Those raucous and rowdy residents were called Growlers.
E Clampus Vitus
A Lodge of the ancient and honorable society of E Clampus Vitus was organized in Georgetown on March 15, 1856 by E. H. Van Decor, PNGH; California State Senators John L. Boles, NGH; and Hiram Lines, as well as approximately 200 other roisterous suspects. Their heirs of absurdity still survive today, known as Growlersburg Chapter 86.
This plaque is dedicated to Georgetown, those early Miners, Growlers, Pioneers and the spirited characters known as the Clampers. Satisfactory!
E Clampus Vitus
Chapter 86 Growlersburg
September 21, 2008/6013