Placerville Soda Works

The Placerville Soda Works, also referred to as the Pearson Soda Works Building, is a classic Gold Rush structure and perhaps the most interesting building in town. It was built in stages, a mixture of fieldstone, rectangular blocks, bricks, and assorted rubble. John McFarland Pearson, a Scotsman, arrived in Placerville during the early 1850ís and built the lower portion of this building in 1859, with walls twenty-two inches thick. Pearson was an Ice Merchant. He would cut ice from mountain lakes, haul them into town by horse and wagon, and then sell the blocks to various needers of ice. He then branched out into the soda business, producing soda water, cream soda, and syrups which he sold to the townsfolk. Pearsonís sons added the brick second story in 1897 for use as a bottling room. Several interesting features are incorporated into this unique structure. Underground rooms, mine tunnels used to store ice and soda, iron doors which help support part of the upper floor, and a water driven elevator which once transported the heavy cases of soda from the bottling room to the storage areas all combine to create one of the most unusual buildings of the Gold Rush. It is located at 594 Main Street.

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