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Gold Rush town in Northern California will remove noose from city logo

Placerville old city logo
Posted at 4:23 PM, Apr 15, 2021

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The Northern California Gold Rush town of Placerville will change its logo to remove a noose seen in the background of the image.

The noose is a reminder of the town's mid-19th century reputation as “Hangtown” following lynchings of criminal suspects by mobs of miners.

The logo shows a miner washing gold in a stream, and the noose hanging from a tree.

The Placerville City Council voted Tuesday night to remove the logo after listening to emotional public comment, and more than a year of debate.

Last summer, the council rejected a redesign of the city logo that removed the noose.

Supporters argued the noose is part of the history of the town, while others said it is a violent symbol that gives the town a bad reputation.

“A lot of people want us to stand up and fight this battle against change,” said Vice Mayor Kara Taylor, according to the Los Angeles Times, “but our job at the city is not to fight change but to navigate it.”

The council's vote was unanimous.

There are other reminders of the city's violent past. The stump is all that remains of a white oak tree at the center of town that was used as a gallows. The stump is in the basement of a bar in downtown Placerville called "The Hangman's Tree." A dummy hangs from a noose outside the bar.

Additionally, a sign along nearby Highway 50 welcomes drivers to "Old Hangtown."

Placerville has a population of about 11,000 people, according to 2019 census data. Of which, nearly 79% identify as white, about 17% identify as Latino/Hispanic and less than 1% identify as Black.