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The Bell Tower


An important historic landmark that still remains on Main Street, Placerville, California, is the Bell Tower, standing as a monument to the city’s volunteer firemen. The Bell, placed in the tower in the plaza in 1865, was used as an alarm system to call out the firefighters. This tower has watched most of Placerville’s history pass beneath it for well over 100 years. It has been remodeled, relocated, and most recently, renovated. Today it proudly stands as a monument to honor our city’s volunteer firemen.

The history of the Bell Tower began back in l856. Three fires that year in April, July and August, claimed most of Placerville’s business section. The need for an alarm system to call the volunteer fire department was obvious, and a bell was ordered from England. Cast in 1860, the bell arrived in Placerville in 1865. The city gave i’s approval to place the bell in a tower in the plaza. All this was done at a cost of $380.00. Today, the Bell Tower serves as a gathering place for parades, celebrations, and other Historic Main Street events.


  1. I really want to get to Placerville! You’ve tempted me with so many great posts.

  2. Let me know when you’re coming and I will be your personal guide. Thanks, Caroline. If you love old west history we have plenty of it here.

  3. That’s so cool that they saved such an important historical item!

  4. It is really a cool tribute, Susan. And, it is used still especially during parades because the master of ceremony stands inside the base. The wagon train reeanactment parade is coming June 11 and that brings in a lot of folks.

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