The Druid Monument in Placerville

Who are the Druids?

Druid is thought to mean 'knowledge of the oak' or less likely, 'deep knowledge'. [1]

Druidism is one of the pagan families of religion, which include Wicca, Witchcraft, Norse Asatru, Shamanism, and adaptions of other various pagan religions such as Welsh, Pictish, Egyptian, Greek, Norse, and Roman. Modern Druidism is a reconstruction of beliefs and practices attributed to the ancient Celtic priesthood. The ancient Druids, first known to exist in approximately 4,000 BCE, are believed to have their origins previous to the written history of Europe. The ancient Druids are most widely connected with the British Isles. However, history shows evidence that the British Isles were only the last strong hold of the Druids. Most commonly referenced are the islands of Iona and Mona, (Anglesey as it is called today). Ancient writings claim that The Druids were the Priests, Doctors, Poets and Minstrels of ancient Celtia. These writings also claimed that they were also the teachers who retained the sacred knowledge of ancient times. [2]

So how did the Druids get to Placerville?

It is said that the Ancient Order of Druids was established in the 1700s in London. In the United States, the first Druid Grove was instituted in New York in 1830. The organization then branched out to other states. Frederick Sieg, the founded the California Grove No. 1 arrived around 1859. Groves think of themselves as lodges or chapters. They are also known to exist in Scotland, Canada, France and northern Germany.

image of a Fezzes cap"According to Chuck Myer of the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Druids charter a bus from San Francisco to Placerville. There they tip their fezzes (a type of hat) to the Druid monument on Main Street. They then adjourn to the Union Cemetery on Bee Street, where Frederick Sieg, the founder of the Placerville Grove is buried." [3]

image of Druids MonumentThe Druid Monument Facts

In 1926, the Druid Monument was dedicated at the intersection of Cedar Ravine and Main Street where it still stands.

On the side of the stone pillar is an emblem which is a flaming pyre surmounted by a crossed spear and long-handled sickle, oaks, mistletoe, a daffodil and the allseeing eye in a triangle.

 

  image of Druid Emblemimage of Druid Plaque

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

[1] Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN: 0198150105.]
[2] Rebecca Lawrence, Celtic Church of Dynion Mwyn, Inc.
[3] Church of God News, News Brief, July 2002