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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Placerville in El Dorado County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Forum Café / Union Hotel / United States Trio Hall / The Forum Café / The Blue Bell Café

The Bookery

 
 
The Forum Café / Union Hotel / United States Trio Hall / The Forum Café / The Blue Bell Café Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 4, 2013
1. The Forum Café / Union Hotel / United States Trio Hall / The Forum Café / The Blue Bell Café Marker
Photo on marker courtesy of the El Dorado County Historical Museum.
Inscription. Saloons and gambling halls provided the main form of entertainment for miners during the gold rush. One of Old Hangtown’s largest gaming halls, The United States Trio, once stood on this site. Owner and entrepreneur, Benjamin Nickerson, first engaged in the business of promoting the short-lived bloody sport of bull and bear and donkey fighting on Circus Hill. When public opinion shut his bull ring down, Nickerson turned his marketing skills toward liquor and cards. The gaming tables of his large canvas tent groaned with bags of gold dust and glittering piles of coins.

Business proved so lucrative that Nickerson soon replaced the hall with a two story wooden building in 1852. The prosperous proprietor enlarged the structure which offered 75 sleeping rooms and included two parlors and a ten pin alley. He then gave his establishment the more dignified name of the Union Hotel. Flames razed the hotel in 1856.

Years later the Forum Café occupied this spot until fire forced it’s (sic) closure in 1938. That year one of Placerville’s most famous landmarks, The Blue Bell Coffee Shop, opened it’s (sic) doors at the same location. For many years the restaurant served “Hangtown Fry” which consisted of a mixture of bacon, oysters, and eggs. Originally the Blue Bell housed a candy store, soda fountain, and a cocktail
The Forum Café Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 4, 2013
2. The Forum Café Marker
lounge. On opening night, Owners C.A. and Veva Butts hired a vaudeville troupe from San Francisco to entertain it’s (sic) first customers.

Today The Bookery provides readers with a treasure of quality used books covering a multitude of subjects.
 
Erected by Heritage Association of El Dorado County.
 
Location. 38° 43.699′ N, 120° 48.124′ W. Marker is in Placerville, California, in El Dorado County. Marker is on Main Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 326 Main Street, Placerville CA 95667, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Branch Saloon/Bingham's Jewelrey/Seligman Building/Ewing Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Hangmans Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); Randolph Jewelers (within shouting distance of this marker); Three Unfortunates Hanged (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); History of Old Town Center (about 400 feet away); Snowshoe Thompson (about 400 feet away); Placerville Pony Express (about 400 feet away); Davis and Roy News Depot / Shelley Inch Building / Placerville News Company (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Placerville.
 
Categories. EntertainmentIndustry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 728 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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