A soon as I stepped into the store, I knew the place was old. The floors were the first indicators of the age. Worn floorboards showing shiny polished tops on the old square cut nails and tin can lids nailed over the knotholes. Rounding the corner revealed rolling ladders, old display cases and ancient brickwork. Narrow aisles with inventory stacked floor to ceiling testified to days of old before shopping carts and ADA laws. Placerville Hardware is the oldest hardware store, west of the Mississippi, and has served the community of Placerville, California continuously for over 150 years. Since 1952 it has been operated by the Fausel family. Located in historic downtown Placerville, also known as “Old Hangtown,” the store focuses on superb customer service and maintaining a unique inventory of items. I think there may have even been some RV supplies lurking on a shelf or two. Unique items may be an understatement, as the inventory includes such items as oil lanterns, gold pans, old fashioned toys and other items of yesteryear. I am sure I observed an old timer pay for his purchase in gold dust as we passed the cashier on the way out!
For additional information on the store’s history visit:
Store Hours: Monday- Saturday 8:00am-6:00pm Sundays 9:00am-5:00pm *Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day
RV parking is limited in “Old Hangtown“. We parked the RV at a vacant service station just west of downtown and walked.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.