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Sacramento, California's Gold Rush Capital

© By Mike Keenan
Sacramento City - Courtesy Tom Myers

In 1839, Johann Augustus Sutter settled at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers. When the Mexican government granted him 48,000 acres of land, they literally gave away a goldmine. In 1848, just thirty miles east of Sacramento, golden nuggets were discovered at Sutter's Mill! Fortune hunters arrived by the thousands; it's recorded as the largest human migration in history. California became a state in 1850 and Sacramento its capital four years later.
     In a leafy valley of scenic rivers and canopies of trees, Sacramento today is a cosmopolitan city of lofty, shiny buildings, hearty Victorians, superb restaurants and shops and a lively arts scene.

Store Window, State Historic Park  Panning For Gold, State Historic Park  Old Sacramento - Courtesy Tom Myers  Old Sacramento  State Railroad Museum

     However, you can visit the past, stepping back in time to the California Gold Rush era in Old Sacramento, a 28-acre town of historic buildings, museums and monuments. Wooden sidewalks, horse-drawn carriages, Pony Express monuments and Mississippi-style riverboats reflect early American history which comes alive through interactive experiences on steam engine train rides, tours of the State Capitol Building, and historic museum tours.
     Pioneers settled along the banks of the Sacramento River, a main traffic route for supplies. Regular flooding and subsequent disease made the early years difficult and implored the settlers to take on the ambitious task of raising the street level twelve feet.
     The influence of the "Big Four" of western railroading - Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Collis P. Huntington and Charles Crocker - is evident throughout the city. Be sure to check out the Railroad Museum. Riders for the Pony Express also became famous here.
     Old Sacramento is also home to the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM). This is the most comprehensive collection of trains and other related artifacts in North America with knowledgeable docents eager to share railroad history. Visitors experience railroad history, from the laying tracks to boarding the deluxe cars that graced the Western United States.
     The Discovery History Museum Center offers yet another opportunity to learn about California history with special presentations on the Gold Rush, newspaper business and agriculture industries.

Convention Center - Courtesy Tom Myers   Delta King & Pyramid  Governors Mansion  Capitol Building  Capitol Dome Sacramento Riverfront & Skyline

     When James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, Sutter's Fort became invaluable to pioneers. Tour the State Historic Park for a glimpse into Gold Rush life at the fort, including exhibit rooms of copper and blacksmith's shops, a bakery, prison, dining room and living quarters.
     St. Paul's Episcopal Church is home to Sacramento's oldest congregation, with Tiffany stained glass windows and a rare Johnson Tracker organ and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament features a 217-foot tower built in 1889. Its prominent architectural design echoes of 19th century Paris with stained glass from Austria.

Northern California Mike Keenan writes for QMI Agency (Sun Media) Canada's largest newspaper publisher, printing 44 daily newspapers as well as a web portal, Canoe.ca. Besides regular columns for the St. Catharines Standard, Welland Tribune and Niagara Falls Review. Mike has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. His work is found in QMI published dailies such as the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, Vancouver Sun, London Free Press, Calgary Sun, Winnipeg Sun and Edmonton Sun.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Sacramento Convention & Visitors Centre

If you go
This destination
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Sacramento
About.com: http://sacramento.about.com/od/sacramentobasics/Your_Guide_to_Sacramento_Basics.htm
Sacramento Convention & Visitors Centre: http://www.discovergold.org/
Old Sacramento: www.oldsacramento.com
California Division of Tourism: www.gocalif.ca.gov

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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