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Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento

(Note the glass skyscraper in the upper right of this image!)

The city of Sacramento grew during the mid-nineteenth century (There was a Gold Rush. You may have heard about it. :-) ) as a development from Sutter’s Fort, which was a distance from the Sacramento River (1), a key route to the California Coast. A lot of the growth occurred on the river waterfront, which flooded regularly before Sacramento’s extensive levee system was built.

When Interstate 5 was constructed , the historic Old Sacramento was pretty effectively cut off from the rest of Sacramento, and the area fell into disrepair by the 1960s. An heroic effort was made to restore significant buildings and to demolish those that were beyond repair. Today, the region is known as Old Sacramento State Historic Park, and almost all of the buildings present date to the 19th century! Most were built immediately after a disastrous fire in 1852.

However, the buildings NOW house restaurants, gift shops, and other businesses that cater to tourists! So bring your reusable shopping bags (BIG ones!) and enjoy!

Some of the historic buildings include the B.F. Hastings Building (which was the western terminal of the Pony Express and the first location of the California Supreme Court), The Big Four House (which was constructed through the efforts of California’s railroad pioneers: Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker, known as The Big Four), The Lady Adams Building (which is the oldest building is Old Sacramento), Sacramento Engine Company No. 3 (the oldest remaining firehouse in Sacramento), the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, and the reconstructed Eagle Theatre, which survived from 1849 to 1850.

In addition, Old Sacramento is the site of the California State Railroad Museum, the California State Military Museum, the Sacramento History Museum, the Old Sacramento Interpretive Center and the Wells Fargo History Museum. You can also see historic trains of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Delta King, a 285-foot stern wheeler steamboat!

The Delta King

The official Web site for Old Sacramento is here and the Parks and Recreation page on Old Sacramento State Historic Park is here, but come, take a short walk with me through Old Sacramento, and maybe you will want to return someday and take the walk yourself! (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

-Bill at

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