Once the third largest city in California after San Francisco and Sacramento. Located in the foothills an hour south east of Sacramento, Dry Diggins was located at the base of the gold country. Thousands of people were drawn to the area to make their fortune. This new found prosperity attracted robbers and a fair amount of murders took place in the area.
It is said, back in 1849 an jury met to consider that fate of three men. When a question was asked “What shall be done with them? The crowd shouted hang um! They were hung on a giant oak tree near the center of town. Several hangings took place on the oak and the town known as Dry Diggins became Hangtown.
When the town incorporated in 1854 the official name of the city of Placerville.
Only the stump of the tree remains today. One historic referece to the towns past resurfaced after several years The hangtown dummy reappeared in an abandoned building at 301/305 Main Street.
Some of the towns folk finds him disgusting and gross, some of the merchants say’s his very appearance discourages shoppers. Others merchants say his appearance has increased tourism on Main Street and find him a welcoming site to the city as he represents the citiy’s past.
The Building were the dummy is located is privately owned, the city does not have the authority to remove the hanging man. The city believes the property is unsafe and could condemn the building. There are some in the community who believe the building has some historical significants. Renovations could be in the millions in a poor real estate market. It future of the hangman and the buildings maybe desided in court. For now he stays.