Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answer. There are many Californians who do not know the capital of our Golden State.
John Sutter may have insured the secure beginning of the city with his fort, but it was the discovery of Gold at Sutter’s Mill, some fifty miles northeast ,that propelled Sacramento into the forefront of affluence, giving it the monitory clout to provided the building needed to house the political and financial offices.
Yes, it was the riches so mined that eventually convinced politicians of the time to make this locale at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers the permanent seat of power.
From Old Sacramento
to the Civil War era Capitol building,
this place is rich in California history. It was by hook, crook and a narrow vote, that the capitol building was saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970’s. Sixty eight million dollars, hundreds of craftsmen and close attention to detail provided through old photographs, and the State Capitol was revived to its former glory. The original brick used was literally crumbling, so it took engineers and artisans some pretty miraculous work to achieve what is now so beautifully restored.
From the mosaic of California poppies, each stone removed, cleaned and replaced, to the rich woodwork of the staircase, to the amazing plasterwork, every inch of the place is a source of pride.
The former location of the treasury is frozen in time, now a mini museum.
Each of the legislative chambers magnificent. The décor of the chambers reflects the precedents set in British Parliament. The color red, featured in the Senate Chambers, is historically associated with the House of Lords. In the Assembly Chambers, green is the predominant color, a tradition borrowed from Parliament’s House of Commons.
Little devils overlook both chambers, said to be a ‘signature’ of the artisans who were not allowed any other concrete identification of their work.
In the chamber hallways are portraits of each past governor. The upper floor is where the most modern office holders reside. Each portrait was commissioned by the governor so pictured. Our present governor Jerry Brown has a portrait that stands out, as he does. It is from his first stent as governor (when he was so much younger, brasher and sported lots more hair) and will have a second placed across the hall once his (2nd) term nears an end.
No city tour is complete without a visit to the best creamery on the planet. Leatherby’s family run ice creme parlor has the most decadent offerings that simply must be tasted to be believed. Mmmmmm…..
And yes–all this touring came at the cost of parking—free on Sundays. Well…the ice cream does come at a price, but who’s counting….
money or calories?