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What's Happening at the Society


Placer County Historical Society Dinner Meetings

Next General Dinner Meeting Date: Thursday, June 6, 2024
Meeting at 6:00, Dinner at 6:15, Speaker begins at 6:45


Speaker: Barbara Leak will present the story of pioneer Peter Oest:

"Placer County Pioneer: The Story of Peter Oest

Born to wealth in northern Germany, Peter Oest sacrificed his inheritance for love and adventure as a California gold miner. When the gold didn’t pan out, he faced poverty and tragedy before emerging as a successful horticulturalist and respected member of the Auburn community. The story of Peter Oest, an early settler of Placer County’s Lone Star District, is presented by Loomis resident Barbara Leak who is a descendant of the pioneer. An avid genealogist and local historian, she illustrates her presentation with historical photographs, maps, documents and quotes from family letters written over 160 years ago. The colorful story includes tales of adventure, mining, homesteading, and a mail-order bride."



Veterans Memorial Hall
100 East Street, Auburn, CA

Cost for dinner: $20.00 per person
Dinner Catered by Catering by Design

Non-members always welcome! If you would like to come just for the speaker, there is no admission charge.


We have a new reservation policy for dinner! Please read below. 

Short version: 
Please RSVP before June 2nd 

  •  RSVP to

  •  Note if you are requesting a special meal. Vegetarian or gluten free only.

  •  Indicate how many people

  •  State how you are paying – Venmo or cash/check at the meeting

  •  Pay through Venmo at placer-historical-society

  •  Include name and number of people on Venmo

Dinner is 20.00 per person. You are always welcome to come for the speaker only, no admission charge. 

Longer version:
Please RSVP before June 2nd to

1.     We will be setting a firm RSVP date – if you miss the date, you are most welcome to attend for the speaker, but we cannot guarantee that dinner will be available.

2.     RSVP’s will now be sent to our new designated email address only. Reply to No phone calls will be accepted. On the email please state how you will be paying. Either Venmo or bring cash or check to the meeting. No checks in the mail please.

3.     You can now pay through our Venmo account – at placer-historical-society. When you reply via Venmo – for the reason for the payment - please indicate your name and number of people. For example:  Jim and Jill Doe -  2 for June dinner paying by cash at the meeting. If you do not have a Venmo account you can still bring a check or cash to the meeting.

4.     Our caterer is able to take into consideration only two kinds of special dietary needs; vegetarian and gluten free. If you need one of these meals, you must note it in your RSVP. Upon arriving please check in with the caterer about how to pick up your meal. The caterer will not deliver it to your table. We are sorry no other special dietary needs can be addressed. You are always welcome to come for the speaker only. No admission charge. 

2024 Dinner meeting schedule


February 1 - Mike Lynch

April 4 - Hal Hall and Bob Crowley

June 6 - Barbara Leak

October 3 - Alfred Corral

December 5 - Frank Nissen

2024 Board Meetings

January 4

March 7

May 2

July - to be determined

September 5

November 7

New Book just published by the Placer County Historical Society

Egbert, Sisson, Wallace and Crocker: Merchants, Lumbermen and Chinese Railroad Labor Contractors
by John Knox

Among the untold chapters in the history of Placer County is the story of the small 49er mercantile company in Illinoistown which supplied the bulk of the Chinese labor when the Central Pacific Railroad began advertising for laborers in 1865. Within two years this small firm, Egbert & Co., acquired a near total monopoly in the Chinese labor market and supplied much of the Chinese railroad labor on the coast over the next two and a half decades. By 1870 they had also become major dealers in groceries, hardware and other provisions, specializing in Chinese goods, with stores located on the lines of the Western Pacific, California and Oregon, and Central Pacific Railroads. In addition for a number of years they were a major dealer in wood, timber, lumber and charcoal in the Truckee River Basin. These are but several examples of their many successful endeavors, the most unusual perhaps being their opening of the first salmon cannery in Alaska. It was surprising then to learn that they remain, except for a few historians, little known. Egbert, Sisson, Wallace and Crocker: Merchants, Lumbermen and Chinese Railroad Labor Contractors, just published by the Placer County Historical Society and written and compiled by PCHS member and local historian John Knox aims to remedy that oversight through an abundance of primary source material chronicling the business and partnership of Placer County’s Egbert & Co. Available from the Placer County Historical Society at this time.  Books         Book Order Form 

Historic Guided Walking Tour of Old Town Auburn 

Every Saturday at 10am.
Meet a Placer County Museum Docent at the Courthouse Museum for a 1 hour tour.
Placer County Courthouse, 101 Maple St., Auburn
Info 530-889-6500.

Plaques and Monuments

Benton Welty Historic Classroom School Tours


Placer County Historical Society offers FREE one hour visits to the historic 1916 Benton Welty classroom in Auburn. The tours are designed for 2nd thru 4th graders. See more about the tours here.

The Placer newsletter, a publication of the Placer County Museums

See our publication, The Placer. Our most current newsletter and an archive of past issues.

Placer History Press, a publication of the Placer County Historical Society
and the Placer County Historical Foundation

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