“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)

Confidence Engine Company

City Hill

Confidence Engine Company Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, September 9, 2010
1. Confidence Engine Company Marker
Inscription.  Erected in 1860, this part of City Hall housed the Confidence Engine Company which was originally formed as The Mountaineer Engine Company. When flames engulfed most of the town in 1856, concerned citizens of Placerville realized that even the best organized fire company would be lost fighting another major conflagration without a fire engine. In 1857, the group of volunteers solicited the funds to purchase a used engine and 250 feet of fire hose from Sacramento’s Engine Company No.1. Finding it impossible to remove the deeply ingraved title “Confidence Engine No.1” from the newly acquired engine, the company decided to adopt the name.

Atop the building, Confidence Engine Company raised a wooden copula that it used to drain its leather fire hoses. A large wooden building adjoined in the rear and served as the site for some of the county’s earliest fairs. The hall also hosted the company’s annual New Year’s Ball, as well as concerts, plays and other civic events until fire consumed it in 1910. Many times in the history of the Confidence Engine Company, the second floor of the brick building also served as a dance Hall. From
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1902 until 2004, Placerville City Government occupied the old firehouse.
Erected by Heritage Association of El Dorado County.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsNotable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1860.
Location. 38° 43.78′ N, 120° 47.989′ W. Marker is in Placerville, California, in El Dorado County. Marker is on Main Street west of Bedford Street, on the right when traveling west. The marker is displayed in the window of the building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 487 Main Street, Placerville CA 95667, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confidence Hall (here, next to this marker); Emigrant Jane (a few steps from this marker); Douglass – Hines Building Bricks (a few steps from this marker); In Respectful Memory of Joseph M. Staples (a few steps from this marker); Morning Star #20 I.O.O.F Lodge Building (within shouting distance of this marker); County of El Dorado Courthouse Restoration (within shouting distance of this marker); James D. Rinehart (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Maul (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Placerville.
Regarding Confidence Engine Company. Many resources state that the Placerville City Hall is housed
Confidence Hall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, September 9, 2010
2. Confidence Hall
Marker is visible in the window. Confidence Hall (left) and the Jane Stuart Building (right) were both placed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the same NRHP listing on January 4, 1982 - #82002174
in this building, however they have since moved to a new site.
Also see . . .  History of the El Dorado County Fair. With no permanent facilities to call its own until 1939, the County Fair annually used whatever facilities it could glean to hold the event. In those early days, the entire town where the Fair was held became the Fairgrounds. When in Placerville, some venues included the Confidence Hall, Sigwart’s Opera House, the Central House Hotel and Ballroom, and the Stockyards. (Submitted on September 10, 2010.) 
Additional keywords. Fire Companies
Photo Displayed on Marker image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the El Dorado County Historical Museum
3. Photo Displayed on Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 10, 2010, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,310 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 10, 2010, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

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May. 27, 2023