El Dorado Gold 2016 in Placerville, CA Sept. 11-18 opened with a bang!

They appeared in costumes, with banners, flags, horse teams and carriages.  Nations from A to Z by the hundreds came in for the panning competition (tomorrow’s blog).




The law and the lawless appeared, as did many of Placerville’s costumed (or not) characters.  There were “ladies of the night”, hundreds of gold panning competitors from every nation you could name.  John Sanders and daughter (Old Town Grill and  Smith Flat House Restaurant) and the Fausel family (Placerville Hardware) all joined in to prepare and serve up John’s version of “Miner’s Stew”, a delicious recipe including wild turkey, rabbit, local heirloom tomatoes and vegetables.



See the 63-pg. booklet of the entire gold event on



              Michal, Native Daughter of the Golden West.teamandcarriagea-for-australiaslovakialadies-of-the-night


South African delegates loved the stew!


Placerville in the News

Channel 10 visited Placerville Hardware early Friday, April 8 while Walt Gray was at Sweetie Pies interviewing an El Dorado County favorite. It’s the April 15-18 2016 Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit that is highlighting Placerville’s history prior to the September 2016 World Gold Panning Championship event at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.


The Fausel family’s fourth generation was present in Albert Fausel’s 3 yr old son, AJ, who busied himself on the floor with gold panning activity.

Third generation Albert Fausel showed the camera crew the Superchamp gold panning dish the hardware store carries ($150) is the favorite among local and worldwide enthusiasts. “It’s the Ferrari of gold panning dishes,” he explained. “Panners want to get their time under a minute without loosing gold, and this pan is the speediest.”

Albert went on to show his gold nuggets, siphoned out of the American River, a technique he recommends as quick and easy. The store sells the tiny vials of gold nuggets and red garnets in a pouch for $10. The oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi is reputed to “have everything—you can find it there, whatever it is.” Amy Carabba, reporter, and Adam Christy, cameraman, followed Albert and his father, David Fausel about the store while they showed historical photographs of the store’s founder, Emil Fausel, who bought Placerville Hardware from Al Kiebers in 1952.

The last world championship panning event took place in Coloma in 1998, attended by throngs on visitors, including Pete Wilson, then California Governor. This years championship occurs during “Gold Week”, Sept. 11-18 and glitters with activities that are expected to attract thousands. The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies’ Rock and Gem Show Convention Sept. 16-18 will bring its own enthusiasts to participate in the dozens of activities and events planned in the city and surrounds.