In 1848 gold was discovered not far from where our shop sits now. It happened just 8 miles to the north in the tiny hamlet of Coloma. The discovery led to people from all over the world to pull up stakes. They all made the treacherous trek overland or by sea to the mother lode of California. Many of them never made it this far. Those that did all tried their hand at striking it rich.
One of them in particular, known only as “The Prospector” came to the Eldorado to seek his fortune. He risked everything to get here. Sold his farm back east to pay his way. For 6 months he toiled to get her on the overland trail. He chose “Old Hangtown” as the area to stake his claim. However “The Prospector was like most eastern tenderfoots. He was sort of naïve and for lack of a better term, he was dumb.
On one morning in early spring he was running pay dirt through his sluice. When all of a sudden he saw what had to be the biggest nugget his eyes had ever seen. “The Prospector” was overjoyed. He had finally made it and the hard work had paid off. He knew he had to keep this a secret. If anyone caught wind of his find, there could be trouble. He had to celebrate a little bit though. He had earned at least that much.
So he did what most 49ers did back then. He headed to one of the local saloons, “Mary’s Place” just on the outskirts of town. Now Mary was a character, easy on the eyes but with a heart as cold as ice. “The Prospector” being as naïve as he is had no clue of just what kind of a woman she was. Up and down the mother lode in the various mining camps there were rumors of a black widow woman named Mary. They all called her “Scary Mary”. Was this the same Mary? Nobody knew for sure. Especially “The Prospector”. Mary sought pleasure in luring lonely men into falling in love with her. Especially if she knew they were on to the gold. Once she had the poor miner’s in her clutches, convincing them to marry her and sign over their claims to her. In the case of death, all the fortune would go to Mary. She would enlist the help of some other rough characters to help do her bidding. She would offer a small percentage of the fortune in exchange for their help. Once she had removed her prey from this world, she would take the gold and run. Off to the next town to repeat the same dastardly act.
Now our poor prospector knew nothing of this when he wandered into Mary’s Place. He was welcomed with a warm smile and a shot of rye. Mary being Mary knew “The Prospector” was hiding something. The best way to get him to talk was to feed him whiskey and affection. Which is exactly what she did. Our poor boy was drunk in just under an hour. He could not resist the temptation of spilling his guts to this beautiful woman. He told her off his nugget in the sluice box and how his claim had more color in it than he had ever seen. He was going to be rich man for the rest of his life. When Mary heard this her eyes lit up and she knew what to do next. She wasted no time in luring our old boy into her arms. Within a matter of days “The Prospector” had married “Scary Mary” and signed over his fortune and claim to her should anything happen to him. That was all that this deviant debutant needed. It wasn’t long before Mary and her band of hoodlums had our prospector strung up and hanged till death. She chose the nearest oak tree that she could find on the claim. “The Prospector” pleaded with her, he begged for his life. “Scary Mary” being the evil person she was, heard not a word. Our friend “The Prospector” was dead, left to hang and rot. Another broken soul in the gold fields of California.
Mary promptly made off with all of the gold she could carry from the claim. Only this time she did not pay off her henchmen. That would prove to be a fatal mistake for the black widow of the mother lode. Soon Mary was on the run for her life. Meanwhile “The Prospector” was left hanging and rotting, but something strange was happening to him. He began to come back to life, well sort of. He was still dead technically, but he began to move. Some strange phenomenon was over taking his dead decaying corpse. Soon our boy found himself on the ground. Someone or something had cut the rope! “The Prospector” lives (kind of). He began to wander the Earth in search of the one who had killed him. He sought revenge, his anger was deep. Not only would Mary pay, but so would the rest of the gold miners. Something inside of our now zombie friend made him grab a plank of wood. He then grabbed some old wheels from a cart. He took those wheels and attached them to the plank. He discovered that he could stand on this board and move around, and move fast. Why and how this was possible did not matter. All that mattered to “The Prospector” was that he could shred through the hillsides faster than the living could travel. He carved the countryside with style and ease. Creating trouble for all of the miners. They would hear him coming from miles away and the miners would run into their mines and cower in fear. That is how it continued for years and years. Maybe even to this day, you might see “The Prospector” ripping through town. Snapping ollies and boneless grabs over some unaware tourist. That is the legend anyway . A skateboarding zombie prospector of “Old Hangtown”. Don’t believe us? Well maybe just maybe, you will find out for yourself. If you’re lucky he may even throw the horns at you as he flies by on his wooden plank.
What happened to our dirty debutant “Scary Mary”? Well Mary tried to outrun her henchmen for a long time. Her betrayal and evil ways finally caught up with her. Mary was murdered by the same men who helped her hang our boy. She met her fate in a back alley of some obscure gold town along the old 49er highway. The universe had more in store for her than the peace of death. A curse was place upon her. She too came back to life(sort of). Mary now walks the earth with a noose in her hand. An undead zombie, forced to carry her tool of death. Slowly rotting and decaying she wanders the countryside and towns of the mother lode. You may have seen her in modern day Placerville. Every now and then we see “Scary Mary” wandering up and down Main Street. Cursed to walk the earth for all of her evil ways. Keep your eyes open and you just might see her too.
The End (maybe)