Old Sacramento (In Brief)
Old Sacramento is an historic eight-block section of Downtown Sacramento. It features cobbled streets and preserved, restored or reconstructed historic buildings. Old Sacramento is a popular tourist attraction.
Sacramento was the home of the Pony Express – the mail delivery service between California and Missouri. The B.F. Hastings Building, which was built in 1853, was both the western end of the Pony Express and the home of the California Supreme Court.
Sacramento was also a terminus of the First Transcontinental Railroad. The Big Four Building, recreated in 1965, was the birthplace of the Central Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Railroad. The original building had housed the offices of Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford, and Charles Crocker. The Big Four Building is now a National Historic Landmark.
Also found in Old Sacramento is the Lady Adams Building. The Lady Adams Building survived the fires of 1852 and is now the second oldest building in Sacramento (Sutter’s Fort is the oldest). The building was built by the passengers and ship’s carpenters of the ship Lady Adams.
The Eagle Theatre, a reconstruction of California’s first permanent theatre in its original location, can also be found in Old Sacramento.
Old Sacramento is home to a number of museums including the iconic California State Railroad Museum which features both historical exhibits and live steam locomotive rides. Located adjacent to the Museum on the second floor of the Big Four Building is the California State Railroad Museum Library.
Other museums located in Old Sacramento are:
The California Automobile Museum has exhibits that include modern and classic vehicles from all over the world.
The Delta King Riverboat Hotel (which also features restaurants and bars) is a paddlewheel steamboat that was christened in 1927. She spent 14 years making daily river voyages between San Francisco and Sacramento. In 1984, after being partially submerged for over a year in San Francisco Bay, she was sold and towed to Old Sacramento where she underwent a five year historical renovation.
Huntington & Hopkins Hardware Building. The original Huntington & Hopkins Hardware store was demolished and reconstructed on the current site in 1970. The exterior of the building is as it appeared in 1861-1877. The inside of the store is typical of a hardware store in the mid-19th century.
Sacramento History Museum. The Sacramento History Museum covers over 200 years of all aspects of life in Sacramento.
Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum. The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum is a replica of an 1800’s one-room schoolhouse. The exhibits include photographs, books, pot-bellied stove, desks and assorted antique items from the Gold Rush era. (10/19/2020 – broken link deleted)
Wells Fargo History Museum. The Wells Fargo History Museum has artifacts including gold scales, a treasure box, and a model of a stagecoach.
Various events are held year round in Old Sacramento, including the annual Gold Rush Days which is held over the Labor Day weekend.