Back in 1848, the year it was founded, the California town was called “Dry Diggins” because of the gold mining efforts nearby. That lasted about a year; folks renamed it “Hangtown” because of its violent reputation—although records indicate that only 3 men were given the noose there.
But even that name—still around in Western lore—was gone before long, a victim to society and culture which demanded a more genteel title for the place. In 1854, the town of Placerville was incorporated. Today, the place is registered as a California Historical Landmark.